3. Smyly pitched extremely well. He held the Reds to one run on six hits in six innings, leaving with a 3-1 lead. He allowed neither a walk nor a home run, his first start since 2015 in which he could claim that dual distinction. The game extended a string of strong outings by Smyly, who has a 1.62 ERA across his past three starts (three runs and no homers allowed in 16-2/3 innings).
“I can tell by the swings of hitters that the ball is coming out of my hand better,” Smyly said. “It’s jumping on them. It has that late life, like I used to have. I got away from that a little bit early in the season, but I feel like I’ve been able to turn it around and get on a little roll.”
4. The Braves built a 3-1 lead against Reds rookie starter Vladimir Gutierrez on an RBI double by Freddie Freeman in the fifth inning (his second double of the game), a solo home run by Dansby Swanson in the sixth inning (his 13th homer of the season) and a solo homer by Heredia in the seventh.
5. Three Braves relievers held the lead. Luke Jackson surrendered a solo homer to Eugenio Suarez in the seventh inning, trimming the lead to 3-2. A.J. Minter pitched a scoreless eighth despite two hits, and Will Smith recorded his 16th save with a scoreless ninth despite a two-out double.
“As long as it took me to get out there, he could have healed from an injury. That’s what I told him. I said, ‘Wait a minute, we’re not going anywhere, because I need to regroup. You’re feeling good, that’s great, but I need a couple of minutes here before I try to make that trek back.’ (Abraham) Almonte asked if I needed an Uber.” -- Braves manager Brian Snitker on his trip to the center-field wall to check on Guillermo Heredia after he crashed into the wall
By the numbers
.256: Freddie Freeman’s season-high batting average after going 2-for-5 Friday and 8-for-14 in his past three games
The Braves and Reds will meet again at 4:10 p.m. Saturday in Cincinnati. Right-hander Ian Anderson (5-3, 3.33 ERA) will start for the Braves and right-hander Luis Castillo (2-10, 5.83) for the Reds. Castillo has the most losses of any MLB pitcher this season.