Another weird game. The Braves actually led 2-1 entering the bottom of the fourth — and hadn’t had a hit yet. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, they couldn’t do much against Edinson Volquez, and eventually stopped trying. For once, this worked, as Volquez completely lost the strike zone, walking five men, including four in a row with two out, in the fourth inning. Javy Vazquez walked with the bases loaded to force in Kotchman, tying the game. Then KJ walked to force in Schafer.
The Reds got a run back in the bottom of the inning to tie it, but then the Braves at last got a hit — a homer to dead center by Francoeur with two out in the fifth. In the seventh, their second hit of the game was a two-out single from Diaz to score Escobar with what turned out to be a big insurance run.
Vazquez was strong, again, striking out nine in six innings (he is, I believe, second in the league in strikeouts, with 43 to Santana’s 47) and walking just one, and setting up the 7-8-9 innings group with a lead. This hasn’t happened too often. Moylan got in a little two out trouble in the seventh with a walk (he appeared to have the man struck out on a checked swing) and his own error, but got out of it. Soriano wasn’t so lucky, giving up a leadoff double and a walk, but the generous Reds bunted with the next man, allowing him to get out of it with a fly ball and a groundout and one run scored. (That’s the first run he’s given up this year.) Gonzalez blew them away in the ninth, looking as strong as he has all year with two strikeouts and an assist.
Francoeur, in addition to his homer, had two walks, which brings his season total to three. The Braves got only two more hits after Diaz’s single, singles by Escobar and Kotchman, but they walked ten times.
Garret Anderson was finally placed on the DL, with Brandon Jones called up to replace him on the roster, though Diaz still got the start against a righty. Unfortunately, Brian McCann might join him, as he was scratched with more vision troubles. It seems likely he will have to go under the laser again, which would keep him out a couple of weeks. I was critical of the Ross signing, but I feel a lot more comfortable with him out there than Sammons.