Reds escape with win, series split against Braves

Cincinnati, OH ( - Zack Cozart finished with three hits and drove in a pair of runs, as Cincinnati built a solid lead then hung on to record a 5-3 victory over Atlanta in the finale of a four-game series.

Todd Frazier homered and scored twice, while Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena also knocked in a run each for the Reds, who salvaged a split after losing the first two in the set.

"It's better than losing, especially the way we have been losing," said Cozart.

Alfredo Simon (13-8) scattered five hits and one run over seven solid frames, fanning six with one walk. Jonathan Broxton picked up his seventh save by recording the final out of the contest with the bases loaded.

Evan Gattis went deep and Tommy La Stella posted an RBI double for the Braves, who have lost three of their last five following a five-game win streak.

Aaron Harang (10-8) was tagged for four runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Harang exited in the sixth after the Reds filled the sacks on two singles and a walk. David Carpenter allowed an RBI fielder's choice to Cozart then fanned Simon to keep it at 4-0.

Consecutive one-out doubles from Gattis and La Stella put Atlanta on the board in the seventh, but Frazier reached the seats in left one-half inning later and the Reds maintained a four-run margin.

Manny Parra and Jumbo Diaz kept the Braves off the board in the eighth, stranding runners on the corners.

Logan Ondrusek served up Gattis' shot to left which pulled the visitors to 5-2 and a two-out infield hit to Emilio Bonifacio, then was pulled for Jonathan Broxton. Bonifacio took second on defensive indifference and scored on a hit by Jason Heyward. Phil Gosselin and Freddie Freeman walked to load the bases, but Justin Upton bounced into a game-ending fielder's choice to second.

"It's still rough to lose, but it's always good to fight back," said Gattis, who became just the second Braves catcher to hit at least 20 homers in each of his first two seasons after Earl Williams (1971-72).

In the fourth, Cincinnati loaded the bases with one out on singles from Frazier, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. Heyward saved extra bases by snaring a low liner from Ludwick that plated Frazier, then Pena bounced a ball through to score one and Cozart followed with an RBI single.

"Those two-out hits are back-breakers because a pitcher can think he's out of it and you can get a couple of knocks and a couple of runs," Cozart added.

Game Notes

Entering Sunday's contest, ex-Red Harang ranked second all time with 114 starts at Great American Ball Park, third with 38 wins, and first by recording 600 strikeouts here ... Frazier has hit just three HRs since finishing as runner-up in the Home Run Derby ... Both clubs are off Monday before resuming play on Tuesday, as Cincinnati hosts the Cubs for three, while Atlanta heads to Queens to take on the Mets ... Following the contest, the Reds announced the trade of catcher Bryan Anderson to Oakland for international signing money.