CINCINNATI (AP) — The only intrigue for the crowd of 20,243 at Great American Ball Park was whether Skip Schumaker could get the Braves out.
That's how bad it's gotten for the fast-fading Reds.
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 Cincinnati 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.
Cincinnati lost its sixth straight and fell a season-high 10 1/2 games back, its biggest deficit since the end of the 2011 season. The Reds are 10-23 since the All-Star break, tumbling out of playoff contention.
"Certainly disappointment, frustration, angry that we're not doing better," manager Bryan Price summed up the clubhouse mood. "Angry that we've kind of put ourselves on the outside looking in as far as the probability of postseason play."
Julio Teheran (12-9) went six innings and allowed four hits by the Reds.
With the game out of hand, Schumaker pitched the ninth for Cincinnati, walking one and throwing a fastball that hit 90 mph on the radar gun. It was the utility player's fourth career pitching performance.
"When your highlight is Skip Schumaker pitching, that says enough about the game," Price said.
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.
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.
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