ATLANTA (AP) -- Cincinnati manager Dave Miley is happy he won't
have to watch Atlanta wrap up another division title.
"They're going to clinch it," Miley said. "I'm just glad it
wasn't against us."
Gabe White earned his first save in over four years, preserving
the Reds' 3-2 win Thursday night and preventing the Braves from
securing their 13th consecutive division championship.
Earlier, Philadelphia beat Florida 9-8 in 10 innings, reducing
Atlanta's magic number in the NL East to one.
With one out in the ninth and Cincinnati ahead 3-1, Joe
Valentine walked three straight batters before giving way to White.
After Chipper Jones' sacrifice fly made it 3-2, Johnny Estrada hit
a popup to second to end the game, giving White his first save
since Sept. 1, 2000, when he was with Colorado.
Plastic covering over the lockers was quickly removed and cases
of champagne were carted out before the Atlanta players entered the
clubhouse after the game.
The Braves, who knew about the Phillies-Marlins result before
their ninth-inning rally, will host Florida in a three-game series
starting Friday night.
"I wouldn't mind getting it done against the defending world
champions," Jones said.
Cincinnati rookie Luke Hudson (4-2) gave up two hits and one run
with a career-high eight strikeouts in five innings.
"You never want to get clinched on," Hudson said. "We're
playing the spoiler role right now, unfortunately. We're not in
playoff contention. All we can do is come in and try to avoid
anything the opposing team is playing for."
Hudson has not allowed an earned run in his three road starts, a
streak covering 17 innings. He was making his eighth start overall.
"He had us off-balance all night," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox
said. "He looked like a veteran pitcher."
Hudson, who made three relief appearances for the Reds in 2002
before missing the 2003 season with shoulder surgery, has won three
of his last four starts. He gave up an unearned run in the first
inning before shutting out the Braves for the next four.
Atlanta starter Jaret Wright (15-8) retired his first nine
batters and struck out the side in the second inning -- each on
called third strikes. Despite being drained by flu-like symptoms,
he gave up only four hits and two runs in six innings.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead without hitting the ball out of the
infield. Rafael Furcal led off with a bunt that Hudson bobbled for
an error. Furcal then stole second, and Marcus Giles followed with
a bunt single that moved Furcal to third. Giles stole second, and
Furcal scored on Hudson's wild pitch.
The Reds scored twice in the sixth. Felipe Lopez led off with a
walk and moved to third on Sean Casey's double that hit the wall in
right-center field, just beyond the reach of right fielder J.D.
Drew. A groundout by Adam Dunn drove in Lopez, and D'Angelo Jimenez
scored Casey with a single to center.
CF Ryan Freel crashed into the wall in left-center field to
catch a drive hit by Giles in the fifth inning. ... Former
President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, attended the game.
... Freel needs five stolen bases to become the first Reds player
with 40 steals since Deion Sanders had 56 in 1997.