Talk about a frustrating game. The Braves loaded the bases in the 9th inning with nobody out down by one run, and couldn't score.
Chuck James (4-3, 5.02) took a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead (courtesy of a McCann homer) into the 6th, but the Reds got to him the 3rd time around in the order. After the first man was out, this happened: Walk. Royce Clayton homer. Walk. Double. Paronto in to pitch. Double. Bunt single. Suddenly, it's 4-2 Reds.
Bobby called a pitchout expecting a squeeze play, and he was right. The runner was caught in a rundown and tagged out, then the 2nd runner was thrown out at 3rd base trying to advance for a fluke double play to end the inning.
James ended up with a strange line, going 5.1 innings allowing 4 runs, 2 hits, 1 homer, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
But the Braves answered in the top of the 7th. Orr pinch-hit and got a groundball that made it through. One out later, Giles doubled into the left-field corner to score him and make it 4-3. But with the potential tying run on 2nd and one out, Renteria hit a sac fly to put Giles at 3rd, Andruw was IBB, and McCann grounded out.
Ray gave up what turned out to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the 7th to make it 5-3. Francoeur led off with a homer in the top of the 8th to make it 5-4. McBride pitched a scoreless bottom of the 8th.
New Reds closer Eddie Guardado came into pitch. Giles led off with a single. Renteria doubled to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Andruw was IBB again. But McCann popped out, and Francoeur hit into a game-ending double play.
Offensive contributors: Marcus Giles was 3-4 with a double, walked, and had an RBI. Aybar and Langerhans each had a hit and a walk. Andruw Jones was 1-3 with 2 intentional walks. Brian McCann hit his 13th homer and had 2 RBIs, but was charged with 9 runners LOB.
Adam LaRoche pinch-hit and grounded out in the 8th inning.
Tomorrow, there's an awful looking pitching matchup with
against Bronson Arroyo
. I almost want Smoltz to pitch on 3 days rest.