Iglesias makes first MLB win a gem, stifles Braves
By Mark Bowman and Mark Sheldon
CINCINNATI -- Rookie Raisel Iglesias took a shutout into the eighth inning during a brilliant performance as the Reds claimed a 5-1 victory over the Braves and two of three games in the series at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday night.
Iglesias allowed one earned run and just two hits over eight innings with three walks and five strikeouts while throwing 103 pitches. It was his first Major League victory in his second career start.
"For a baseball player, this is a great goal," said Iglesias through translator Tomas Vera. "Especially, I achieved my first victory against a team like the Atlanta Braves, a great team. It's a dream come true. I feel really, really well."
Summoned from Triple-A Louisville to make the start, Iglesias kept the Braves hitless over the first five innings. After he walked the game's first batter, Nick Markakis, he retired 12 in a row until Alberto Callaspo's leadoff walk in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Eric Young Jr. notched Atlanta's first hit with a single to center field that was nearly caught by a diving Billy Hamilton.
The Braves ended the shutout in the eighth, when Pedro Ciriaco hit a ball to the right-field corner that Jay Bruce allowed to get by him. It was ruled a triple. Ciriaco then scored on Markakis' groundout to second base.
Braves starter Eric Stults lasted five innings and gave up five earned runs and six hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Stults was hurt by a pair of homers -- Marlon Byrd hit a leadoff shot in the second inning and Todd Frazier added a two-run homer in the third.
"You don't blame the park, you just blame not executing pitches," said Stults, who has allowed two home runs per outing in four of his first seven starts, including each of his past three. Atlanta has lost 10 of its last 12 games on the road, including five of its first six on the current nine-game road trip. The back-to-back wins put Cincinnati back to a .500 record at 17-17.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cozart picks it back up: After missing the last two games with the return of his sore left wrist, Cozart showed no signs of trouble. He hit a first pitch from Stults for a double to left field in the first inning and made it 1-0 when he was waved home and slid in safely after Joey Votto's single through the middle off of the pitcher's glove. In the fifth, Cozart made a superb leaping catch that preserved Iglesias' no-hitter a little longer before he hit a long sacrifice fly to center field that scored Hamilton and made it a 5-0 game. More >
Staying homer happy: Byrd gave the Reds a 2-0 lead when he hit an 0-2 pitch to the left-field seats. It was his seventh homer of the season and his fifth in his last 10 games. When Frazier lifted a 2-0 pitch in the third inning for his two-run shot, it traveled 432 feet and went off of the batter's eye in center field. That was his 12th homer of the season, which moved him back into a tie for the National League lead with Bryce Harper. Frazier has seven homers in his last 13 games.
KJ exits in the first: The Braves' offense was weakened in the first inning, when Kelly Johnson exited with a right oblique strain that will force him to spend at least the next two weeks on the disabled list. Johnson, who had batted .298 with four homers over his past 14 games, might have provided some assistance after the Braves put two on with none out in the sixth. His replacement, Jonny Gomes, ended the threat by flying out to center field. More >
"It was baffling. He was throwing 90-mph two-seamers right down the middle, and I popped them all up. It was just one of those days." -- Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, on Iglesias
"It was special for all of us to be there and see him pitch such a good ballgame. The Braves can crowd their lineup with a nice assortment of left-handed hitters, and they just know the strike zone so well. They do a great job of putting the ball in play and competing in the at-bat to put balls in play. I thought he was very, very sharp. The couple of times he got into trouble with some early walks in the inning, he found his way out of it. " -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on Iglesias
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• Both of Atlanta's hits came via pinch-hitters (Young and Ciriaco) who were filling the ninth spot in the batting order. The Braves have now been limited to two hits or fewer in two of this season's first 34 games. They tallied two hits or fewer just once last year and six times on the way to winning the 2013 NL East title.
• The Reds are 8-4 this season in games when Frazier hits a home run.
WHAT'S NEXT Braves:Julio Teheran will attempt to get back on track when Atlanta opens a three-game series on Friday night (7:10 ET) at Marlins Park. Teheran has posted a 6.23 ERA over his past five starts, but he has a 2.64 ERA in nine career starts against the Marlins.
Reds: The homestand continues Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET with the start of a four-game series against the Giants. Ace Johnny Cueto will pitch for Cincinnati against Tim Lincecum. Cueto threw 123 pitches over 8 1/3 innings for a win on Saturday against the White Sox.