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Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2005 10:49 PM EDT



  R H E  
Braves 5 11 0 WP: Claussen (6-8)
LP: Ramirez (9-7)
S: Mercker (3)  
Reds 8 9 0
Dunn drives in five runs as Reds beat Braves

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Adam Dunn apparently is not content resting on his laurels.

Hours after being named the National League Player of the Month, Dunn homered and drove in five runs to lead the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-5 triumph over the Atlanta Braves .

It was the Reds' sixth win in seven games and just the Braves' second defeat in nine contests.

"It's August now, it's time to turn the page," Dunn said before the game.

The Reds opened the scoring in the third inning on Ryan Freel 's RBI single against Horacio Ramirez . Atlanta took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a two-run homer by 47-year-old Julio Franco , his eighth of the season, off Brandon Claussen .

Franco has hit three of his eight home runs in Great American Ball Park.

"This park is short to right-center and that's where my power is," Franco said.

But with one out in the bottom of the fourth, Dunn launched his 32nd home run of the campaign, a three-run shot to right-center field. Earlier Wednesday, he earned the monthly honor for smacking 11 homers and driving in a major league-best 31 RBI in July.

Despite the honor, Reds interim manager Jerry Narron dropped Dunn into the sixth spot in the lineup with Wily Mo Pena batting fifth. Dunn was batting .189 against lefthanders and had hit eight home runs off them to start the contest.

"I see lefthanders pretty well," Dunn said. "I know my numbers stink against them but I have been too aggressive against them, I guess. With the count 3-1, I was looking for a ball in a certain location. When he put it there, it didn't take a genius to swing at it. I've always been a patient hitter but there have been times when I've had pitches in the right location, I'd talk myself out of swinging."

"Dunn hasn't hit lefthanders for a high average but he's dangerous," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "If you make a mistake in this park, things like that are going to happen."

After the Reds loaded the bases against Ramirez with nobody out in the sixth, Dunn extended their advantage to 6-2 with a two-run double to right that chased Ramirez. Jim Brower struck out Jason LaRue but uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Sean Casey to score, and Edwin Encarnacion plated Dunn with a single that opened a six-run cushion.

Ramirez (9-7) was rocked for eight runs and six hits in five-plus innings. Fellow lefthander Claussen (6-8) allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 frames.

Claussen had two horrible starts in a row on July 18 and 23, when he surrendered 16 runs with eight home runs in 7 1/3 innings. Claussen rebounded with a seven-inning quality start at Los Angeles on Thursday and was cruising through 6 2/3 innings in this one.

With two outs and a man on first in the top of the seventh, plate umpire Chuck Meriwether was hit on his left hand by Rafael Furcal 's shattered bat and left the contest, though X-rays were negative. After second base umpire Tim Timmons took over behind the plate, Furcal singled and Marcus Giles followed with a run-scoring base hit to chase Claussen.

"The delay didn't bother me," Claussen said. "I left some pitches up. I've been working on a rhythm and staying balanced to get the ball low. I try to stay positive. I know that if a ball is in the air here, it has a chance to go out."

Rookie Jeff Francoeur and Andruw Jones greeted David Weathers with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 8-5 before the reliever induced Franco to hit into a force play to escape further damage.

Kent Mercker pitched two scoreless innings for his third save.

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