ATLANTA — Bronson Arroyo gave up one run in seven innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.
The Braves, who began the day four games behind Colorado in the NL wild-card race, have lost three straight.
Arroyo (12-12) gave up six hits and one run in seven innings. He shut out the Braves for five innings before giving up Nate McLouth's homer in the sixth. He has lasted at least seven innings in seven straight starts. The right-hander was only 1-2 in his last six starts despite a 1.99 ERA.
The Reds, coming off a four-game sweep of Pittsburgh, matched a season high with their fifth straight win. Jonny Gomes' 17th homer in the second gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 31st save.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was ejected for the seventh time this season, and the second time in two games, to extend his major league record to 150.
Arroyo beat Derek Lowe (13-9), who gave up seven hits and three runs in seven innings.
Kenshin Kawakami pitched a perfect eighth in his first relief appearance for Atlanta after 25 starts. Tim Hudson's return from elbow surgery left the Braves with six starting pitchers.
The Reds scored two runs in the sixth. Joey Votto walked and scored on Brandon Phillips' double to center field. Scott Rolen's single to center drove in Phillips.
McLouth came off the 15-day disabled list after missing 17 games with a strained left hamstring.
Plate umpire Brian Gorman ejected Cox in the fourth inning.
Gorman called Yunel Escobar out for running outside the base path on the infield grass as he tried to beat Arroyo's throw to first. Arroyo's throw hit Escobar. Cox argued the call.
Escobar appeared to be injured while stretching for first base. X-rays were negative.
Omar Infante moved from left field to shortstop to replace Escobar.
The Braves did not score after loading the bases with no outs in the first. Brian McCann hit into a double-play grounder that forced Matt Diaz out at the plate. Adam LaRoche ended the inning with a fly ball to left field.
NOTES: Cox also was ejected in Thursday night's 8-3 loss at Florida. ... McLouth did not start but entered the game in the fourth inning after Escobar's injury. ... Wladimir Balentien's first-inning triple was the first of his career in 472 at-bats. ... The Reds opened a 10-game road trip and a streak of games on 17 consecutive days.