Teixeira homers twice in Braves' win

CINCINNATI - Mark Teixeira hit a pair of homers for the second straight game, and Brian McCann had a first-inning grand slam Monday that powered the Atlanta Braves to a 14-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

With Atlanta's offense fully revved, right-hander Tim Hudson (15-5) settled in and stayed unbeaten for the last two months. Hudson improved to 9-0 in his last 11 starts and became the first NL pitcher to reach the 15-win mark.

The Braves lead the NL in batting on the road, and made themselves cozy at one of the majors' most hitter-friendly ballparks. They hit four homers in all - Andruw Jones added a two-run shot - while sending the Reds to a loss that matched their most lopsided of the season.

McCann set the tone with his third career grand slam off left-hander Phil Dumatrait (0-2), a 26-year-old rookie who was hit hard for the second consecutive start. Dumatrait also gave up Teixeira's three-run homer in the second inning.

Teixeira added another three-run shot off left-hander Mike Gosling in the fourth, giving him back-to-back multihomer games. His cheeks puffed and he emphatically exhaled while connecting on that homer, which flew an estimated 430 feet.

The Braves made a bold move on July 31, getting the power-hitting first baseman from Texas in a seven-player deal. That move has worked: Teixeira has nine homers and 25 RBIs in 18 games for the Braves.

It hasn't worked out so well in the standings. The Braves are still looking for a turning-point week to get them out of their rut.

Atlanta was only two games out of first place in the NL East at the All-Star break, but has gone only 19-17 since then. The victory Monday left them five games behind the idle Mets.

The Reds brought a little momentum into the series, coming off their first winning road trip since June of last season - yes, it's been that bad. The good feelings were gone after one inning.

Dumatrait, getting a chance to win a spot in the rotation for this season and beyond, retired only six batters for the second consecutive start. In his last two starts, Dumatrait has given up 13 runs in four innings.

By the time he was done, it was evident that Hudson's impressive run would continue. He gave up seven hits and three runs in six innings, then got the rest of the night off.

Everyone in Atlanta's starting lineup except Hudson had at least one hit. Teixeira added a double, Matt Diaz had three hits, Jeff Francoeur had his team-high 44th multihit game and Jones hit his 23rd homer off Eddie Guardado.

Notes: The 14 runs matched Atlanta's season high. ... Teixeira has 18 career multihomer games. The six RBIs were one shy of his career high. ... Francoeur has 51 hits since the All-Star break. ... Hudson's hitting streak was stopped at five games. ... Reds C Javier Valentin extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. ... The Reds traded OF Jeff Conine to the Mets for two minor leaguers before the game. They called up INF/OF Jorge Cantu to take Conine's roster spot. Cantu pinch-hit and singled in the eighth.

SideBar: Braves at Reds

When: Today-Thursday

Where: Cincinnati


' Today, 7:10 p.m. (SS)

' Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. (FSN)

' Thursday, 7:10 p.m. (SS)

Hometown Braves

How Gwinnett's stars fared in Monday's game:

Jeff Francoeur

3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs

Season: .306 avg, 16 HR, 81 RBIs

Brian McCann

1-for-4, run 4 RBIs

Season: .273 avg, 13 HR, 71 RBIs