Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - David Hale allowed one run over eight innings to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday in the second test of a three-game series.
Hale (1-0) gave up two hits and walked two while striking out four. Craig Kimbrel worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season.
"He kept the ball down and out of the strike zone, he mixed his pitched well, he used alot of offspeed, he really didn't give much to hit. His game is obivously to get groundballs and make you chase and he did it today," said Bruce about Hale.
Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first inning, while Justin Upton and Evan Gattis belted back-to-back blasts in the third. Upton finished 3- for-3 in the win, Atlanta's third in a row and fourth in its last five games.
Ryan Ludwick had the Reds' only extra base hit with an RBI double and starter Mike Leake (2-2) allowed four runs on eight hits over seven innings.
Cincinnati got on the board with two outs in the first inning. Brandon Phillips singled up the middle, Jay Bruce then walked before a double from Ryan Ludwick plated Phillips.
"Yea. I was kind of angry that I had two outs real quick in the beginning and then let them score but I calmed myself down and was able to go from there," said Hale.
The Braves responded in the bottom half after B.J. Upton picked up an infield single that was just out of the reach of Leake and not hard enough for Zack Cozart to make a play on. The hit was the 1,000th hit of Upton's career. Freeman then went deep to right-center.
Atlanta tacked on two more in the third with back-to-back home runs. With two- outs, Justin Upton hit a bomb to center before Gattis went deep to left to put the Braves ahead 4-1. Freeman was robbed of a homer by Ludwick before the back-to-back blasts, saving Leake from allowing three straight round-trippers.
After allowing a run in the first Hale set down 21 of the next 22 batters he faced from the second through the eighth. He didn't allow a hit during that span and the only Reds player to reach base was Bruce, who walked in the fourth.
The Reds placed catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list Saturday due to a strained left hamstring. Cincinnati recalled catcher Tucker Barnhart from Triple-A Louisville in a corresponding move ... Atlanta left four men on base, while the Reds stranded three ... Hale threw 102 pitches, 66 of which were strikes ... Atlanta will send Julio Teheran to the mound to face Johnny Cueto on Sunday.