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Braves open short set with Reds

Second-year righty Randall Delgado meets the Cincinnati Reds for the first time in his brief career tonight when the Atlanta Braves host them in the opener of a two-game series at Turner Field.

The native of Panama debuted with the Braves and made seven starts last season after he was signed as an undrafted free agent in July 2006.

He split a pair of decisions in 2011 and won his first two starts of this spring against Houston and New York, but has since gone 0-3 in five starts while allowing 12 runs on 20 hits in 22 2/3 innings with 20 strikeouts.

The youngster lasted 5 2/3 innings and gave up a run on three hits in his most recent outing on May 8 at Chicago, walking three and striking out five in a game the Braves ultimately won, 3-1.

Atlanta is 3-3 in the six games he's pitched.

The Braves won their seventh game in nine tries on Sunday in St. Louis, when Jason Heyward hit a three-run double to help them complete a three-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 7-4 win at Busch Stadium.

Freddie Freeman doubled twice and knocked in a run for Atlanta.

"Two outs was the story today, two-out base hits," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Atlanta scored all seven of its runs with two outs.

Tommy Hanson (4-3) gave up a solo home run to St. Louis' Carlos Beltran among five hits in five-plus innings. He walked three and recorded a season-high nine strikeouts.

The Reds avoided a sweep and gained a game on the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central Division after Joey Votto hit three home runs, including the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning en route to a 9-6 win over the Washington Nationals.

The 2010 National League MVP registered four hits, drove in six and scored four runs for the Reds.

Sean Marshall (1-2) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.

The Nationals held a 6-5 lead when Henry Rodriguez (1-3) took the hill in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Hanigan led off with a single and pinch runner Devin Mesoraco moved to second on Wilson Valdez's sacrifice bunt.

Miguel Cairo popped out in foul territory for the second out, but Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey walked to bring up Votto with the bags full.

Votto drilled a belt-high 2-2 fastball from Rodriguez onto the grassy knoll in straightaway center field.

Before Sunday, Votto hadn't homered since April 30 and had only two for the season.

Cincinnati is 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis in the Central, while the Braves - with their win and the Nationals' loss - are now a half-game up on Washington in the NL East.

The Reds start right-hander Homer Bailey, who'll try to end a winless stretch that goes back to April 20.

Bailey defeated Chicago, 9-4, to improve to 1-2 on the season, but is 0-1 with a pair of no-decisions in three starts since, including an 8-3 loss at Milwaukee on May 8 in which he allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

He won his lone career appearance against Atlanta after allowing two runs on five hits in six innings.

In 34 2/3 innings this season, Bailey has given up 40 hits and 23 runs with 23 strikeouts.

The Reds are 2-4 in games he's pitched and opposing batters have compiled a .286 average against him.

Cincinnati and Atlanta split six matchups a season ago.