(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds look to win two straight games for only the second time this month on Wednesday night as they take on the Atlanta Braves in the rubber match of a three-game set.
The Reds lost a third straight contest with a 2-1 setback in Monday's opener, but evened this series with a 4-3 victory last night. Devin Mesoraco drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit double.
Facing Braves closer Jason Grilli, who has been unavailable for Atlanta the three previous days due to a back injury, Brayan Pena singled and was lifted for a pinch-runner in Michael Lorenzen. Mesoraco then connected on a hit to the corner in left that plated Lorenzen.
"I've never done that before, it was my first walk-off hit," said Mesoraco. "I was just thankful I got a good pitch to hit and I was ready and put a good swing on it."
Todd Frazier smacked a two-run home run and Marlon Byrd also drove in a run for the Reds, who last won two in a row from May 5-6. Aroldis Chapman, who had picked up a loss in each of the Reds' previous two games, picked up the victory.
Nick Markakis, Kelly Johnson and Alberto Callaspo each drove in a run for the Braves, who have dropped four of their last five.
"We left a lot of guys on base tonight," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "You've got to get the hits when the guys are on base and we didn't do a good enough job of it tonight."
Eric Stults tries to avoid a third straight losing start tonight for the Braves.
The veteran lefty picked up his first win of the season on April 27 versus Washington, but was battered for six runs on 11 hits over seven innings of a loss to Cincinnati five days later. He then took a 9-2 defeat in a rematch with the Nationals on Friday, charged with three runs on seven hits over six innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out a season-high seven, but also allowed two home runs for a second outing in a row.
Stults is 1-3 with a 4.84 earned run average on the year and 1-2 lifetime versus the Reds with a 3.70 ERA. He gave up homers to Byrd and Frazier in the earlier loss along with a two-run triple to Jay Bruce.
It is unknown if Stults will face Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who exited last night's game due to a injured left toe. Phillips had struck out in all three of his at-bats before getting lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
Shortstop Zack Cozart was already missing from the Reds' starting lineup for a second game in a row due to a sore left wrist, but did pinch hit in the seventh inning.
With the Reds in need of an extra starter due to a doubleheader this past Saturday, 25-year-old Raisel Iglesias is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Louisville to take the mound tonight.
Iglesias made his major league debut with a start against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 12 and did not factor into a 7-5 loss. He yielded three runs on five hits and two walks over five innings, striking out four.
A defector from Cuba, the Reds signed the right-hander to a seven-year, $32 million deal in June. Iglesias is 1-2 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts with Louisville.
The Braves have won eight of their last 13 versus the Reds, splitting a four- game set at home from April 30-May 3.