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Phillips homers twice, Reds edge Braves

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves were Brandon Phillips'
favorite team when he was growing up in Georgia -- except when they
played Barry Larkin and the Cincinnati Reds.

Now Phillips is the one leading the Reds.

The Cincinnati second baseman homered twice and drove in four
runs to lead the Reds over the Braves 8-6 Saturday.

"If not for the Braves, I'd never have seen Barry Larkin,"
said Phillips, who was acquired in a trade with Cleveland in April.
"I used to love watching them play, but when they played the Reds,
I was with the Reds."

Ken Griffey Jr. also hit two run-scoring doubles for Cincinnati,
which has won two in a row after losing five straight games.

Phillips' second homer of the game, a one-out solo shot in the
eighth off Tyler Yates (1-2), put the Reds in front 7-6 and
prompted what Phillips said was his first curtain call from
cheering fans.

"That was nice," said Phillips, who went 3-for-3 with a double
to boost his average to .300. "It shows the fans were into it."

Scott Hatteberg followed with a walk and Griffey doubled him in
to give Cincinnati a two-run cushion.

Brian McCann hit his second homer in two games and went 4-for-4
with three RBI for the Braves, who have lost three straight.
Marcus Giles added a two-run homer and Adam LaRoche a solo drive.

David Weathers (4-3) allowed one hit in the eighth to get the
win. With closer Eddie Guardado unavailable with stiffness in his
left forearm, rookie Bill Bray pitched the ninth for his second
save in two opportunities since being traded from Washington on
July 13.

"I didn't want to tell him before the game that, if we got to
the ninth with the lead, he was getting the ball," manager Jerry
Narron said. "We were told before the trade that this kid has a
chance to be something special."

Bronson Arroyo, pitching on three days' rest for the second time
in his career and first since he was a rookie in 2000, was unable
to pick up his 10th win in his ninth try. He is 0-4 in nine starts
since beating the Mets 4-2 at New York on June 19. The Reds' lone
All-Star representative survived a 28-pitch first to last 5 2-3
innings, giving up five runs and eight hits with two walks and
three strikeouts.

"I felt as good as I do on any normal day," said Arroyo, who
was scheduled to pitch Sunday before volunteering to switch and
make himself available to face NL Central-leading St. Louis next
week. "I don't like day games, but tomorrow's a day game, too."

Jason Shiell pitched three-plus innings for Atlanta in the
shortest of his three career starts, all this season. Shiell
allowed five hits and a career-high six runs with three walks and
two strikeouts. He was sent down to Triple-A Richmond after the
game.

Giles and Edgar Renteria hit back-to-back one-out singles in the
first inning. After Jones grounded to Arroyo, McCann hit the first
pitch into the right-center field seats for his 14th homer of the
season.

The Reds responded in the bottom half. Phillips led off with a
double and advanced on Hatteberg's groundout to second. Griffey
then hit an opposite-field RBI double to left. One out later, Adam
Dunn tied it with his 32nd homer of the season.

Cincinnati grabbed the lead in the fourth. Juan Castro led off
with a walk and Arroyo followed with a sacrifice bunt that Shiell
fielded and, trying to get Castro at second, threw into center
field for an error. Phillips followed with his ninth homer of the
season and first in 37 at-bats since July 23 against Milwaukee.

"Phillips had a good day, for sure," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox
said. "He's had a good season."

Game notes
Giles extended his hitting streak to nine games (18-for-37,
.486). The streak is his third of the season of at least nine
games. His longest is 13, from June 27 through July 14. Giles is
now hitting .423 (11-for-26) against the Reds this season and .395
(51-for-129) with six home runs in his career. ... Griffey moved
past George Brett into 22nd place on the career RBI list with
1,597. ... LaRoche's start was his first in three games since
Wednesday because of a strained right hamstring.