Soroka, Braves shut down Reds 3-1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ozzie Albies homered on the game’s first pitch and Ronald Acuna Jr. scored from first base on Yasiel Puig’s fifth-inning error, helping the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Acuna scored easily when Puig misplayed Nick Markakis’s line drive single to right, allowing it to skip under his glove and roll to the wall for a two-base error.
Josh Donaldson doubled down the left field line to drive in Albies with an insurance run in the ninth.
Mike Soroka (1-1), in his second start of the season and seventh of his career, tied his career high with seven strikeouts while allowing five hits and one run with three walks in 5 2-3 innings.
The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Soroka, but reliever Josh Tomlin got slumping pinch-hitter Scott Schebler to ground out to first baseman Freddie Freeman. Schebler has two hits in his last 27 at bats and is batting .150 this season.
Luke Jackson and Dan Winkler combined to face the minimum six batters over the next two innings before A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
Albies smashed Tanner Roark’s 91-mph four-seam fastball over the Reds bullpen down the right field line for his third home run of the season. The leadoff homer was his first of the season and fifth of his career.
The Reds quickly rallied in the bottom of the first on Joey Votto’s leadoff walk, his fourth consecutive walk over two games, and back-to-back singles by Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker.
The Braves put at least two runners on base in each of the next three innings, but couldn’t push them across the plate, stranding seven through four innings.
Roark (1-1) got through five innings, allowing six hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts. He also hit a batter.
Braves: LHP Jonny Venters threw a bullpen before Wednesday’s game and could be ready for a rehab assignment, manager Brian Snitker said. Venters went on the IL on April 15 with a right calf strain.
Reds: IF Scooter Gennett hopes in the next week to firm up a timetable for a rehab assignment. Gennett has missed the entire season with a strained right groin.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (2-2, 5.61) allowed 11 hits and seven runs in five innings in his last start against Cincinnati and got the decision in a 13-8 Atlanta win on June 4, 2017.
Reds: RHP Jose Castillo (2-1, 1.47) was switched from starting Friday in St. Louis to starting this game. The Braves have hit a combined .294 over eight innings in two games against Castillo.
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