(AP) Braves lose Upton brothers in 4-2 loss to Reds
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
The Atlanta Braves are scrambling to find enough outfielders just to make it to the All-Star break.
B.J. Upton and Justin Upton joined Jason Heyward on Atlanta’s mounting list of injured players, and the Braves went on to a 4-2 loss to Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds.
B.J. Upton left the game after he strained his right adductor muscle in the first inning. Justin Upton strained his left calf while running to first base in the seventh and also was removed from the game.
Heyward was held out one day after he strained his right hamstring.
The Braves’ patchwork outfield at the end of the game included Tyler Pastornicky, Reed Johnson and rookie Joey Terdoslavich. Pastornicky, a backup infielder, made his first career appearance in the outfield.
The team announced after the game that Jose Constanza will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before Saturday’s game. A corresponding move was not announced.
Arroyo (8-7) pitched seven sparkling innings. The crafty right-hander allowed three hits, including Brian McCann’s two-out solo homer in the seventh, and walked one.
The Reds jumped on Kris Medlen (6-9) right at the start. Shin-Soo Choo singled and moved to second on Derrick Robinson’s bunt single. Medlen walked Joey Votto to set up Brandon Phillips’ two-run single to center. Votto scored on Todd Frazier’s triple off B.J. Upton’s glove and left knee.
Upton’s right knee dug into the grass as he attempted to make the catch. He appeared to favor his right side as he walked slowly off the field, accompanied by assistant trainer Jim Lovell.
Upton said he “kind of dove” for Frazier’s line drive.
Justin Upton said his calf “kind of locked up” as he was running to first base. He said he thought at first it was a cramp.
It was another rough night for Atlanta’s outfield, forcing the Braves to consider their options with the break coming up.
The list of injured outfielders actually is longer.
General manager Frank Wren announced during the game that Jordan Schafer’s right ankle injury is more serious than originally believed. Schafer went on the 15-day disabled list on July 4 with what was called an ankle contusion, but a MRI on Friday revealed a stress fracture. Wren said the normal recovery period for the injury is six weeks “and he’s two to three weeks into it.”
Evan Gattis, who has made 11 starts in left field, could return from an oblique injury after the All-Star break but isn’t ready to help this weekend.
Arroyo didn’t allow a baserunner to reach second base before McCann’s homer.
Sam LeCure pitched a perfect eighth and Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in the ninth before earning his 21st save.
Pastornicky walked with two outs in the ninth and went to second on defensive indifference. He scored on Freddie Freeman’s single, but McCann popped out to end the game.
The Reds chased Medlen in the fifth. Robinson singled and moved to third on Votto’s double before Medlen hit Phillips with a pitch to load the bases. Left-hander Alex Wood then came in and gave up a sacrifice fly to Jay Bruce.
Medlen was charged with four runs and nine hits. Medlen, who was 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in five June starts, has allowed a combined 10 runs in two straight losses.
The Braves had only two hits before McCann’s seventh-inning homer. Medlen singled with two out in the third and Justin Upton singled to right field in the fourth. Upton was thrown out at second by Bruce.
NOTES: McCann has five homers in 22 career at-bats against Arroyo. … Braves 3B Chris Johnson’s 12-game hitting streak ended. … RHP Homer Bailey will make his second start since throwing his second career no-hitter against San Francisco on July 2 when he faces Atlanta’s Mike Minor on Saturday. Bailey followed the no-hitter with a loss at Milwaukee on Monday.