ATLANTA - If this whole starting pitching thing doesn't work out for Jo-Jo Reyes, maybe the Braves can find room for him as a pinch hitter.
The rookie got one hit off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo on Tuesday, which is better than what most of his teammates did. In his 20th start of the season, Arroyo finally found his 2006 All-Star form.
Arroyo shut out Atlanta for seven innings, Parkview grad Jeff Keppinger capitalized on a rare start by hitting a two-run double and the Cincinnati Reds held on to beat the Braves 6-5 at Turner Field.
Reyes made a respectable - though not entirely convincing - case to stay in Atlanta's starting rotation. He gave up four runs in 61⁄3 innings in just his second major-league start. But he had no support from the Braves' offense.
Atlanta did not score until it put together a four-run rally in the eighth. Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer and Kelly Johnson had a two-run triple. But by then, the Reds had already put up six runs, the last two coming off reliever Peter Moylan in the seventh.
The Braves (50-44) lost for the second straight night and will lose a series against a National League Central team for the first time this season. John Smoltz will return from the disabled list today in a 1:05 p.m. series finale. And the Braves will look to avoid being swept by a team whose record entering Tuesday was the worst in the NL.
Atlanta needed longevity from Reyes after the Kyle Davies debacle Monday. Reyes had lasted just three innings in his previous start, giving up five runs against the San Diego Padres in his major-league debut. But on Tuesday, he fared much better.
Reyes held the Reds scoreless through the first four innings. He kept them out of scoring position until the fourth and then made a nice pickoff move to catch Brandon Phillips trying to steal third.
Cincinnati put runners on again in the fifth, though, and that time took advantage. Keppinger, called up from Triple A on July 7, ripped a 3-2 pitch up the third-base line and into left field, driving in two runs to make it 2-0 Reds.
The Braves, meanwhile, had no luck against Arroyo, who had not given up more than three runs in a game in exactly one month.
Arroyo struck out the side in the first inning, and the Braves didn't really make him sweat until the fifth. But even then, Atlanta got nothing from a first-and-third, one-out situation.
The Reds knocked Reyes out of the game with two singles and a sac bunt to begin the seventh. He left to a warm ovation from the announced crowd of 30,072, at that point having allowed just two runs on eight hits and two walks.
But he was charged with two more runs later in the inning, with Peter Moylan pitching in relief. With the bases loaded, Ken Griffey Jr. drove a 2-2 pitch into right field to double Cincinnati's lead, 4-0.
It would get worse. The next batter, Phillips, hit a two-run single to right field. And suddenly, a game that had been close much of the night was very much in Cincinnati's favor.
Things changed once Arroyo left after the seventh. Chipper Jones singled in the eighth, and Andruw Jones followed with a two-run homer to left field. Brian McCann singled, Jeff Francoeur drew a walk and Kelly Johnson drove them in with a triple to left center that made it 6-4.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a sharp liner, but hit it right into Phillips' glove at second base to end the inning.
Chipper Jones made it a one-run game with an RBI single in the ninth, but Andruw Jones flied out to end the game.