Series: Game 3 of 3

Cincinnati won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, August 4
Game 2: Saturday, August 5
Game 3: Sunday, August 6

Braves 6

(51-59, 29-31 away)

Reds 4

(57-54, 29-29 home)

    1:15 PM ET, August 6, 2006

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 200000040 6 12 1
    CIN 103000000 4 6 0

    W: M. McBride (3-1)

    L: G. Majewski (4-4)

    S: B. Wickman (20)

    Braves rally late as Reds' lead in wild card dwindles

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jeff Francoeur needed just one at-bat to salvage a dismal road trip.

    Francoeur hit a two-run triple in the eighth inning to tie it and scored the go-ahead run on Adam LaRoche's sacrifice fly to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 Sunday.

    Elias Says
    Edgar Renteria
    Edgar Renteria singled in the first inning and then Andruw Jones hit a home run, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead in their 6-4 win at Cincinnati. Renteria is batting .430 in the first inning this season, the highest such average in the major leagues, and Jones has 28 RBI in the first inning, the most for any player in the majors.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    "It was a tough road trip for me," said Francoeur, who was 3-for-24 (.125) on the trip after grounding out with the bases loaded to end the Braves' sixth inning. "I had a lot of opportunities to win games for this ballclub. I've done it in the past, but it's been a while."

    "He's had some success in the past," manager Bobby Cox said. "He's been one of the best at getting key hits, but it comes and goes."

    Andruw Jones and Matt Diaz homered for the Braves, who avoided a three-game sweep and snapped a three-game losing streak to finish the trip with a 3-3 record.

    "We wanted to come in and win the series," Jones said. "We had two tough games where we left a lot of men on base and couldn't get a key hit. [Francoeur] finally got one."

    Jones and Brian McCann singled with no outs in the eighth inning against Gary Majewski (4-4). Francoeur, who is hitting .295 (36-for-122) with runners in scoring position, followed McCann with a triple into the right-field corner, setting up LaRoche's sacrifice fly. Diaz then hit his fourth homer to make it 6-4.

    "I was pretty down after my first three at-bats," Francoeur said. "I've always loved those situations. You've got to love those situations. I just told myself to keep grinding."

    Macay McBride (3-1) pitched a perfect seventh for the win and Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his fifth save in five tries since being traded from Cleveland on July 20.

    Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 559th career home run and drove in two runs for the Reds, who fell back to .500 at home with a 29-29 record.

    Kyle Lohse, who was acquired from Minnesota on July 31, struck out a season-high seven in his first start with Cincinnati and first since he pitched 2 2/3 innings for the Twins in a 7-4 loss at Detroit on May 16. Lohse worked five innings against Atlanta, allowing two runs and four hits.

    Edgar Renteria hit a two-out single in the first and scored on Jones' 26th homer of the season.

    "I made a bad pitch to the wrong guy," Lohse said. "After that, I settled in and worked the ball around pretty good."

    The Reds rallied with four runs in the first three innings against John Smoltz, who remained unbeaten in 10 starts since losing 4-1 at Florida on June 13.

    Griffey hit a 431-foot solo homer with two outs in the first for his 23rd of the season and the first of his career against Smoltz. Griffey now has homered against 357 different pitchers, and he has 1,040 career extra-base hits, one short of tying Pete Rose for 20th place on the career list.

    Griffey singled in a run in the third and scored on Edwin Encarnacion's two-run double to give Cincinnati a 4-2 lead.

    Smoltz, who's won his last five decisions, yielded four runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

    Game notes

    Smoltz is 19-12 in 44 career games, including 37 starts, against the Reds. ... Reds SS Royce Clayton played in his 2,000th game. ... Cincinnati's pitching staff issued four walks to remain No. 1 in the NL in fewest walks allowed with 310.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press