CINCINNATI — Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a bases-loaded single during Atlanta's decisive third inning, and the Braves extended their offensive resurgence with an 8-0 victory over the fading Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Atlanta put it away early, sending 11 batters to the plate in the third for five runs. Jason Heyward got it started with a single off David Holmberg (0-1) and drew a bases-loaded walk that finished the rally. Upton singled home a pair of runs during the inning and later added a sacrifice fly.
Julio Teheran (12-9) went six innings and allowed four hits by the Reds, who have lost six in a row.
The Braves have won six of their last seven games, scoring at least seven runs four times. They remain seven games behind Washington in the NL East, the product of their 15-18 mark since the All-Star break.
Cincinnati fell a season-high 10 1/2 games back — its biggest deficit since the end of the 2011 season — with its 11th loss in its last 13 games. The Reds are 10-23 since the All-Star break, tumbling out of playoff contention.
The Reds' bullpen has been their biggest problem lately, losing 10 games since the All-Star break. They overhauled it before the game, only to watch their starter fail to go three innings.
Holmberg retired only eight batters. The left-hander gave up six runs and five hits, walked four and hit two batters in his second start for Cincinnati. He also lasted 2 2-3 innings and gave up five runs during a 6-5 win over the Cubs on July 8.
Andrelton Simmons hit his seventh homer in the second inning to put Atlanta ahead. He also drove in a run with a groundout.
Braves: Manager Fredi Gonzalez was waiting for a medical update on right-hander Shae Simmons, who had to quit throwing at Triple-A Gwinnett because the back of his pitching shoulder was bothering him. He had been pitching well on his rehab assignment until the shoulder bothered him on Wednesday.
Reds: Manager Bryan Price said 1B Joey Votto has started jogging, but isn't doing any baseball-related activities. They still hope to have him back sometime in September.
Braves: LHP Mike Minor (5-8) beat the Reds in both of his starts against them last season, allowing only three runs in 14 innings.
Reds: RHP Mat Latos (4-3) is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his last four starts. He's making his 13th start in a season cut short by two injuries.