Major League Baseball
Preview
Cincinnati at Atlanta
When: 7:35 PM ET, Friday, April 25, 2014
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia


Coming off a day of rest to enjoy his second game-winning hit in three games, Evan Gattis and the Atlanta Braves eye their 10th victory in 13 tries on Friday when they begin a three-game home set against the Cincinnati Reds. Gattis hit a walk-off, two-run homer in Monday’s win over the Miami Marlins and closed the series with a go-ahead, pinch-hit two-run double in Wednesday’s triumph. During the Braves’ torrid stretch, their power-hitting catcher is batting .351 with five homers and 10 RBIs.

Atlanta has also been fueled by incredible pitching as it leads the majors with a 2.10 ERA, including a 1.50 ERA from the rotation. Ervin Santana has contributed greatly to that mark – allowing a total of two runs over 21 innings – but will be hard-pressed to continue his early-season dominance against the Reds, who have won seven of nine after taking three of four on the road from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Some of the credit for Cincinnati’s improved play can be attributed to Joey Votto, who is batting .333 in his last 12 games since moving from the third spot in the batting order to the second.

TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), SportSouth (Atlanta)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Homer Bailey (1-1, 5.75 ERA) vs. Braves RH Ervin Santana (2-0, 0.86)

Bailey surrendered at least four earned runs in each of his first three starts, but righted himself with six scoreless frames in Sunday’s 4-0 victory against the Chicago Cubs. “It seems like (his slider) has really turned the corner and got him some big outs today, some big strikeouts … that was a great silver lining in what was a solid outing,” Reds manager Bryan Price told the team’s official website. The 2004 first-round draft pick is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against Atlanta.

Signed by the Braves in mid-March, Santana has endured little resistance in his first foray as a National League pitcher, holding the opposition to one run or less while averaging eight strikeouts in his three starts. The 31-year-old Dominican allowed a run on six hits and struck out seven over seven innings in Saturday’s 7-5 win over the New York Mets. The 10-year veteran has never faced the Reds, but was dominant in his first home start, holding the Mets to three hits over eight scoreless innings on April 9.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Braves' rotation has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all but one game.

2. The Reds (11-11), who have yet to break .500 on the season, are averaging 5.2 runs since Votto was bumped up in the lineup (2.8 over the first 10 games).

3. Atlanta OF B.J. Upton is two hits away from 1,000 for his career and two stolen bases from 250.

PREDICTION: Braves 4, Reds 3

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Cincinnati 11-11 W3 4-5 7-6 1-2 9-7 0-0 1-2
Atlanta 14-7 W1 6-3 8-4 12-6 2-1 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Cincinnati Atlanta
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/14/13 CIN 8 ATL 4 .306 2 .988 .250 2 .752
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati N/A
Atlanta N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati H. Bailey 0 0 0
Atlanta L. Avilan 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 0.00 .000 0
Atlanta 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati J. Votto .299 23 .938
Atlanta F. Freeman .338 27 1.038
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati T. Frazier 4 14 10
Atlanta F. Freeman 5 14 14
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 3.32 .255 167
Atlanta 2.10 .243 196