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Braves vs. Reds – Match Recap – July 2, 2022

CINCINNATI — Spencer Strider allowed a hit through six innings and set a career-high with 11 strikeouts, Austin Riley scored the second straight game and drove in two carries and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Saturday.

Strider (4-2) didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning when Nick Senzel’s single brought in Matt Reynolds, who came into play when Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch.

“I’m still trying to ride a little bit more each time,” said Strider, who made his seventh start and 18th appearance. “I’m starting to stretch a little.”

“Great,” Atlanta coach Brian Snitker said of Strider. “He was free and light. That’s two really good ones in a row. His breaking ball was really good.”

Dansby Swanson made a diving backhand catch from Joey Votto’s pop into short left field to close out fourth and keep Strider’s no-hit bid alive before Senzel’s soft liner went to center, falling in front of Michael Harris II.

AJ Minter threw the seventh and Jesse Chavez the eighth before Will Smith threw the ninth for his fourth save.

The Braves, second in NL East behind the Mets, have hit a season-high 13-game over .500 with their fourth win in five games and are 2 1/2 games behind New York after the Mets lost to Texas on Saturday .

The loss was Cincinnati’s fourth straight overall and tenth straight at home, the team’s longest losing streak since 11 games at Riverfront Stadium in 1986. The team fell 26-51, a season-high 25 games under .500.

“There’s a lot of frustration, staff, players, myself,” manager David Bell said. “I know our players are doing everything in their power to try and reverse this. I think long and hard about what I have to do turn it around.”

Tyler Mahle put up a season-high with four walks, including Harris II with loaded bases in the fourth to force Atlanta’s second run. Mahle (3-7) allowed five hits and two runs with five strikeouts. He also hit a batsman.

“It was definitely a grind,” Mahle said. “I didn’t do pitches all the time. You like to come out of games that aren’t good for you with limited damage.”

Riley led the second with his 20th homer of the season, landing four rows deep in the left field seats.

Riley had gone 12 straight games without a homer before going deep on Friday. He led Saturday’s second with a high arcing fly and later scored on Mahle’s base-loaded walk and added an RBI double in Atlanta’s seventh run-two.

“I’m staying on the ball a little better than I’ve been lately,” Riley said. “Staying in midfield really helps.”

20 AND COUNTING

Riley’s homer was his 20th of the season and expanded into four straight full seasons (excluding 2020) in which at least one player in Atlanta hit 20 or more homers before the All-Star break — Ozzie Albies in 2018, Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña, Jr. in 2019 and Acuña, Jr. last season.

OOPS

Mahle got Duvall with an out from first base and the bases were loaded in the second inning. Duvall went for the second ball on what he thought was ball four to Orlando Arcia, but when an appeal changed the call to strike two, Duvall slowly walked back to the first and was easily kicked out.

TRAINING ROOM

Braves: RHP Jay Jackson (right lat trunk) activated from the 60-day injured list and selected for Triple-A Gwinnett. … RHP Touki Toussaint was designated for use. … Adam Duvall was hit with a left-hand pitch in the second inning and left the game after the top of the third.

Reds: C Tyler Stephenson (fractured right thumb) is expected to start a rehab spell on Monday. Stephenson has been sidelined since June 10. … SS Kyle Farmer was hit in the left wrist with a pitch leading away from fifth and was immediately replaced by Matt Reynolds. Bell was ejected by plate umpire Tripp Gibson.

NEXT

RHP Charlie Morton (4-3, 4.73 ERA) is scheduled to play for Atlanta against RHP Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.32 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale. Morton allowed two hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings in a 7-6 win over Cincinnati on April 8. Castillo threw a career-high 123 pitches over six innings of shutout in a Reds 5-3 win over the Cubs in Chicago Tuesday.

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