Atlanta, GA – At the crack of Jay Bruce's bat, Braves starter Julio Teheran dipped his face straight into his glove.
The right-hander's slider stayed above the knees and broke over the middle of the plate. Bruce made him pay. Before the ball landed five rows into the right-field seats, Teheran went for a walk around the mound, already finished yelling.
Bruce's two-run shot in the third inning capped a four-run rally and sent the Cincinnati Reds to a 8-4 win against the Atlanta Braves, salvaging a split in the finale of a four-game series.
"It felt good just to get a win, regardless of whether it was the end of the first half or not," said Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. "All wins are very important. We played against a good team and hopefully we can carry the momentum to the next half."
In addition to Bruce, who hit his 19th homer, Shin-Soo Choo also went deep for the 13th time this year.
Tony Cingrani received a no-decision because he only went four innings for the Reds. He gave up two runs -- one earned -- and four hits with five strikeouts. Logan Ondrusek (3-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings in relief.
Teheran (7-5) took the loss after the Reds tagged him for five runs on seven hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
"All and all it was a good half," said Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. "We came together when we needed, I think we learned a lot and made some good adjustments throughout the half."
Andrelton Simmons had two hits including a home run, and scored twice for Atlanta.
Gerald Laird gave the Braves the lead in the second. Reed Johnson reached first base after Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier lost his pop up in the sky. Laird lofted a fly ball down the right-field line that Bruce, the right fielder, could not grab, allowing Johnson to score.
The Reds quickly responded. Cingrani led off with a bunt single and moved to third on a base hit by Choo. Joey Votto lined a double to right to score Cingrani and tied the game. Phillips followed with a ground out to plate Choo.
Bruce finished off the rally when he crushed a 1-0 slider to push Cincinnati's lead to 4-1.
The Braves picked up a run in the bottom of the third. Simmons singled and moved to third on Chris Johnson's base hit. Evan Gattis followed with a line out to short, but Reds shortstop Zack Cozart tried to double up Johnson at first. His throw went wide and Simmons scored.
Cincinnati got the run back in the fifth inning when Choo flicked an opposite- field home run to left field to give the Reds a 5-2 edge.
Uggla cut the lead back to two when he greeted Sam LeCure with a solo home run in the eighth inning.
The Reds tacked on three runs in the ninth inning. Phillips knocked in Choo and Votto with a double and scored on Frazier's base hit.
Simmons homered against Aroldis Chapman in the ninth to wrap up the scoring.
The Braves activated Gattis off the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and placed outfielder B.J. Upton on the 15-day DL ... Cincinnati went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base while Atlanta went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and also stranded eight on base ... Freddie Freeman will miss Tuesday's All-Star Game with a jammed left thumb. Braves catcher Brian McCann will take his place on the roster.