ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta's relievers had their biggest blowup of the season Thursday night but Cincinnati's displaced closer wound up taking the loss in a matchup of struggling bullpens.
Jeff Francoeur's two-out single in the 10th inning drove in Chipper Jones with the winning run as the Braves recovered from a ninth-inning collapse to beat the Reds 8-7.
The Eddie Guardado trade is Wayne Krivsky being aggressive, taking a shot, giving Cincinnati a chance. Krivsky hopes the adrenaline of moving back into the closer's role will help Guardado, who lost that job in Seattle this year, despite having a solid season in 2005.
Francoeur's hit came off Todd Coffey (3-4), whose stint as Reds closer apparently ended with the Reds' trade with Seattle for
veteran closer Eddie Guardado on Thursday. Guardado is expected to join the team Friday.Coffey followed David Weathers in the closer's role. The Reds relievers have a 5.28 ERA, 10 losses and 13 blown saves."Anytime you struggle, it's frustrating," Coffey said. "It's even more so when our hitters got us back in the game and I go out and give it right back to them."Despite rallying with five runs in the ninth, the Reds lost their sixth straight.Jones hit a one-out double, his third hit of the game, in the 10th. Coffey struck out Andruw Jones before intentionally walking Brian McCann to face Francoeur, who laced a single to left. Jones just beat Adam Dunn's throw to the plate, giving the Braves their fifth win in seven games."I remember from last year, he has a great sinker," Francoeur said of Coffey. "I was able to hang in there and get it on the upswing. ... I figured it was just a matter of time before he came in there with that."Francoeur has 60 RBI, 33 with two outs."Maybe I get locked in more," Francoeur said. "I like to be in that situation."Ken Ray (1-0) earned the win, pitching around two walks in the top of the 10th.Jorge Sosa suffered the staff's 17th blown save in 35 chances as the Braves couldn't hold a 7-2 lead in the ninth.Starter Tim Hudson gave up singles to Dunn and Austin Kearns
before reliever Macay McBride gave up a single to Scott Hatteberg
to load the bases.Sosa struck out Edwin Encarnacion before giving up a two-run double to David Ross and a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Javier Valentin."I was just trying to be aggressive," Valentin said. "It was a fastball, low. I got good wood on it."Braves fans booed after Sosa gave up a fly ball caught by Andruw Jones in front of the wall in center to end the inning.Hudson gave up eight hits and four runs in eight innings."We won the game, man, that's all I wanted," Hudson said. "The way I've been throwing the ball the last few weeks, I was just happy with going out there, giving us a chance to win, not putting us in a hole early."Andruw Jones drove in four runs, including three with his 19th homer that capped a four-run first inning.Hudson stranded runners on second and third in the sixth inning, thanks to third baseman Chipper Jones. Jones dived to his left to snag a sharp grounder by Kearns and then threw him out at first.Joe Mays, making his sixth appearance and third start with Cincinnati, gave up hits to the Braves' first four batters. Marcus Giles, Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones opened with singles, with Giles scoring the first run on Jones' hit to left before Andruw Jones' homer to left.Hatteberg's eighth homer in the second cut the lead to 4-1. The Braves got the run back in the fourth when Francoeur led off with a single and scored on a double by Adam LaRoche.Hatteberg led off the sixth with a double to right and, after moving to third on Encarnacion's single, scored on a double play grounder by Ross.The Braves pushed the lead to 6-2 and knocked Mays out of the game in the sixth. Giles' double drove in Ryan Langerhans, who led off with a single. Andruw Jones drove in a run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.Mays gave up nine hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He had four strikeouts and walked three.
Reds outfielder Dewayne Wise, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, grounded out in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter. He made his first major-league appearance since Sept. 29, 2004, with Atlanta. ... The Braves stranded a season-high 14 runners. ... The Reds had two previous five-game losing streaks this season. ... Giles reached base in his first four plate appearances with a single, two walks and a double.