Giving up just one hit in six innings sure helped him out, too.
"I knew I didn't have a win this season so far. Obviously it's good to get a win any time much less the fact that we're playing fairly well right now," Wells said. "I was trying to stay within myself. I had to pitch a little more efficiently, pitch a little more finesse, less intensity."
The fading Braves, who fell six games behind Colorado in the NL wild-card race, have lost four straight.
Wells (1-3) last won on April 17, 2008, when he was with Colorado. He gave up only a single to Garret Anderson in the second inning. The right-hander walked four, struck out four and hit a batter.
"Kip gave us all he had for six innings. It got a little hairy there but he got out of a couple of jams," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Votto hit a two-run homer off Jair Jurrjens (10-10) in the sixth inning to put the Reds up 2-0. The 417-foot drive over the center field fence was his 21st. Brandon Phillips followed with a double to left and scored on an RBI single by Scott Rolen.
"I'm just missing a lot of pitches I was driving before," said Votto, who is hitting .304. "It was just one of those bad stretches that some players go through. Hopefully I've turned the corner."
Jurrjens, who had allowed only one hit until the sixth, gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in seven innings. The right-hander has gotten either a no-decision or loss in 12 of his 29 starts in which he has allowed two earned runs or less.
"I don't know what to say anymore. It's getting frustrating, considering how important these games are," said Jurrjens, who has a 2.93 ERA.
It was the 15th time this season that Atlanta has scored three runs or less in a game Jurrjens has started. The Braves are 1-14 in those games.
"I got the ball up a little bit on Votto, a changeup. You miss by an inch or so and guys like him make you pay," he said. "You dominate the whole game and then one inning. It's going to eat at you," he said.
"It stinks. The way JJ has pitched. We just haven't scored any runs for him," said Braves outfielder Matt Diaz, who went 0-for-4 and had his five-game hitting streak end.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 attempts.
The Reds improved to 83-0 when leading after eight innings. ... Jurrjens threw all eight of his first inning pitches for strikes and 15 of 16 through the second, retiring all six Cincinnati hitters. ... Atlanta SS Yunel Escobar, who sprained his right ankle in Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Reds, said the ankle felt better but indicated he would not play until Tuesday. ... The Reds have won a season-high six straight on the road. ... Cincinnati rookie Drew Sutton, who has played second and third base, started in left field. Reds manager Dusty Baker said he thinks it helps if a utility player can play the infield and outfield.