Bourn's two homers can't save Beachy, Braves

Bourn's two homers can't save Beachy, Braves

Bourn's two homers can't save Beachy, Braves
CINCINNATI -- Brandon Beachy entered Tuesday's game against Cincinnati leading the Major Leagues in ERA but gave up three home runs for the first time in his career, and the Braves lost for the second night in a row, 4-3, to the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

It is the first time the Braves have lost consecutive games since April 30-May 1 against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, a span of 19 games.

"Other than those three pitches, I pitched the way I wanted to pitch tonight," said Beachy, who dropped to 5-2 on the season. "I didn't have my good fastball, but I was spotting it up and mixing it up really well. If those stay singles, I throw a game to be proud of."

Beachy allowed six hits and walked just one in seven innings, but the four runs he allowed equaled his season high. All four runs were earned. He had not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first eight starts.

The two teams have combined to score 12 runs in the first two games of this four-game series; a total of 10 home runs have produced 11 of those runs. The Reds have hit seven of those home runs. Atlanta center fielder Michael Bourn hit two home runs -- his first career two-homer game -- and doubled Tuesday for the Braves, who were limited to three runs or fewer for the fourth straight game.

"Two games in a row, but they're swinging it and getting it over the fence," said manager Fredi Gonzalez. "I thought Beachy was terrific. [Mike] Minor did a nice job getting us deep into the ballgame [Monday], and Beachy did a great job keeping it right there, and we just didn't have any offense to score."

Bourn broke an 0-for-11 streak by leading off the game with a home run to right field. Bourn had just one hit in his previous 17 at-bats before launching the 3-2 pitch from Mat Latos into the stands. It was Bourn's first leadoff homer of the season and the third time he had done it in his career.

Beachy had given up just one home run in his first 54 innings this season, but Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer off the batter's eye in straightaway center in the bottom of the first to wipe out the advantage Bourn had provided the Braves. Beachy allowed a solo homer to shortstop Zack Cozart in the third inning, and Phillips got his second home run of the game, also a solo shot, in the fourth.

"I missed some spots," said Beachy. "I'm not going to let the ballpark be an excuse for any of those three home runs. None of those pitches were where they were supposed to be."

Trailing, 3-1, in the fourth, the Braves got a run back when Jason Heyward doubled into the right-field corner with one out to score Dan Uggla from first base. Heyward was left at second base when Juan Francisco popped out to Phillips at second and David Ross flew out to Drew Stubbs in center.

Bourn hit his second homer of the game in the eighth inning to cut the deficit to one run.

"It's always good to [hit two home runs], but all-and-all you want the victory," said Bourn.

Matt Diaz, pinch-hitting for Francisco, reached on an error by Reds third baseman Miguel Cairo with two outs in the ninth inning against lefty flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, but Ross lined out to Cozart to end the game. Chapman struck out Uggla and Heyward swinging to begin the ninth. The third strike to Heyward registered 100 mph on the stadium's radar gun.

"It's pretty much how hard he throws," said Heyward. "I went back and looked at some of the video and the swings I just took. I felt the trajectory of the pitches, it kind of rises and it's tough, like [Craig] Kimbrel. You see guys right on him, but he throws the fastball and it's electric and it runs a lot. It's a tough left-on-left matchup.

"The odds, I know, are stacked against the hitter there when you've got somebody who can throw the ball 101, but all you can do is go up there and battle."

The Braves played without third baseman Chipper Jones (bruised calf) and catcher Brian McCann (illness).

"We beat a very good Atlanta Braves team," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker. "I'm not sad to see Chipper and McCann out of there. Those two guys are dangerous guys over there. We have to take advantage of the situation."

Kevin Goheen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.