CINCINNATI (AP) -All
needed was some run support.
provided more than enough.
Bruce homered twice and drove in four runs, helping Owings earn his first win in nearly a year by leading the
8-2 on Sunday.
''I've been working on changing my approach,'' said Bruce, who's hitting .455 (10-for-22) with four home runs and eight RBIs
during a six-game hitting streak. ''I got myself out a whole lot last year, and I got myself out earlier this year. I just
want to settle down and not get ahead of myself. The biggest thing is to swing at strikes and not swing at their (best) pitches.''
had two doubles, one with the bases loaded in Cincinnati's six-run fifth inning, to help the Reds salvage the finale of the
three-game series after losing the first two.
''Hitting's contagious,'' Reds manager
said. ''One guy gets hot or two guys get hot and, suddenly, the pitcher's pitching out of the stretch a lot. We got some timely
hitting. When that happens, you're going to score some runs.''
Owings (1-2), acquired in the trade that sent
to Arizona, also had two hits while earning his first win in 15 appearances, including 11 starts, since a 9-3 win at Atlanta
for Arizona May 25. The right-hander, who was 0-9 with an 8.53 ERA in that span, limited the Braves to six hits and one run
with three walks and six strikeouts Sunday.
''I wish I could have gone even deeper in the game, but I don't want to get greedy,'' Owings said. ''I am going to enjoy this
one. I am going to work on going even deeper in games. In the first two games I might have been a little too quick. I had
to concentrate on driving my pitches more.''
Atlanta third baseman
, who had two of the five hits allowed by Owings, was surprised by the effectiveness of the Reds pitcher's fastball.
''I watched his last two games,'' Jones said. ''He looked more inconsistent with his fastball than he was today. Today, he
pitched most of the left-handers in. We couldn't do anything with him.''
''I didn't notice any difference in my fastball, but for
to say that, you have to respect it,'' Owings said.
Former Reds catcher
broke up Owings' shutout bid with a solo home run with one out in the seventh.
The Reds, who scored one more run in the fifth inning Sunday than they totaled for Owings in his first two starts, avoided
their first three-game skid of the season and cost the Braves their first four-game winning streak.
held the Reds hitless and limited them to just two baserunners until Votto lined a double down the right-field line with one
out in the fourth inning. An out later, Bruce hit an opposite-field home run to left.
Bruce has gotten at least one hit in all six starts since missing three consecutive starts with a bruised right hand.
The Reds broke the game open with their six-run fifth. Votto hit a three-run double just out of the reach of lunging first
followed with a run-scoring single and Bruce capped the inning with his second homer of the game and fifth of the season.
It was his third multihomer game and first this season.
Bruce's homer knocked Kawakami (1-3) out, having given up eight hits and eight runs with a walk and a strikeout. The 33-year-old
rookie right-hander from Japan has lost his last three starts after starting his big league career with a win over Washington
on April 11.
''He pitched good for the first three innings,'' Atlanta manager
said. ''All Bruce's (first) homer was was a little flyball. He started getting his offspeed pitches up, then he started getting
Owings held Atlanta to two hits and five baserunners through the first five innings.
''He did it with the bat, too,'' Bruce said. ''He was fun to watch.''
Notes: Votto was hit by a pitch with two outs and nobody on in the first inning. He went straight to first base despite being
hit for the second time in two days. Both benches briefly cleared Friday after Braves SS Yunel was hit by a pitch, but there
were no problems when he was hit again Saturday ... The Reds haven't made a roster move in the first 21 days of the season,
their longest stretch since 1985, when they didn't make their first move until the 37th day of the season ... Owings was credited
with a hit on a sharp one-hopper in the fifth inning that grazed baserunner
's foot between second and third, causing Hernandez to be called out.