Reds drop rain-shortened game to Braves, 4-1

By HAL McCOY

It wasn’t a fun night for Acting Manager Freddie Benavides.

With manager David Bell serving the first day of his six-day suspension, Benavides handled the lineup card and the decisions Thursday night in Atlanta’s Sun Trust Park.

Another Freddie, Freddie Freeman, and Mother Nature combined to hand Benavides and the Cincinnati Reds a 4-1 rain-shortened defeat to the Atlanta Braves.

Freeman hit a three-run home run in the first inning off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani and former Reds outfielder Adam Duvall hit a sixth inning solo home run off Wandy Peralta.

The Duval home run made it 4-1. With Phillip Ervin batting to lead off the seventh, a drizzle turned into a torrential storm. After a long wait, the game was called.

Because more than five innings were played and one team was leading, it is declared an official game.

DeSclafani clearly wasn’t himself from the start. He gave up singles to Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. Then Freeman clobbered his 26th home run, a three-run bolt.

So the Braves led, 3-0, and DeSclafani hadn’t retired a batter.

“He struggled with his command and got punched,” said Benavides during his post-game media conference.

The game could have gotten away quickly when the Braves loaded the bases with one out in the third. But DeSclafani scrambled out of it, striking out Duvall and getting Ender Inciarte on a fly ball.

But he didn’t get Duvall in the sixth. Duvall, the former Reds left fielder, spent most of this season at Class AAA Gwinnett County.

The Braves recalled him last Saturday and his home run Thursday was his fifth in six games.

The Reds scored their run in the second, but could have been more. Phillip Ervin beat an infield single and Jose Iglesias singled, putting runner on second and first with no outs

That brought up rookie Aristides Aquino. Who? Aguino was called up from Class AAA Louisville on Thursday.

Making only his second major league at bat, Aquino hit into a double play. One run was salvaged when Jose Peraza singled to left.

Aquino was in right field, the spot occupied by Yasiel Puig all season until he was traded Wednesday to the Cleveland Indians. Puig, batting fourth, doubled, walked and scored a run Thursday for the Tribe during a 7-1 loss to Houston.

Peraza was playing second base in place of the departed Scooter Gennett, traded Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants.

Atlanta left hander Max Fried held the Reds to one run and four hits for his six innings and was credited with a complete game and his 12th win this season.

Nick Senzel committed a baserunning faux pas in the sixth. He reached base on a catcher’s interference. But he broke too soon on a steal attempt and was caught in a rundown.

The Reds trying again Friday night in Atlanta, with Alex Wood making his second start of the season.

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