CINCINNATI (AP) – Andruw Jones hit his 33rd home run to take over the National League lead, and Jeff Francoeur also homered as the Atlanta Braves overcame Sean Casey’s two home runs and four RBIs to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Thursday night.

Francoeur and Rafael Furcal each drove in two runs to help rookie Kyle Davies improve to 4-1 in his last seven starts. The first-place Braves have won nine of 12 to maintain their 4-game lead over Washington in the NL East.

Davies (6-3) retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and allowed four hits, three runs and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. His seven strikeouts were one shy of matching the career high he set in his last start Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Former Red Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 19 opportunities.

Reds starter Aaron Harang (7-10), who leads the team in wins, gave up eight hits and four runs with three walks and one strikeout in six innings.

Jones, who was tied with Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn and Chicago’s Derrek Lee for the NL lead in homers, hit the first pitch he saw from Harang in the third inning 434 feet to center field to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. just turned and watched the ball hit the black batter’s eye and bounce back onto the field.

Davies made it 2-0 in the fourth by laying down a squeeze bunt that allowed Brian McCann to score from third and Wilson Betemit to advance to second. Furcal followed with an RBI single to right.

Davies walked Dunn and gave up a two-run homer to Casey with two outs in the fourth. Casey’s homer was his sixth of the season and second at Great American Ball Park.

McCann led off the fifth with a single, moved to third on Betemit’s single and scored on Furcal’s one-out sacrifice fly.

Francoeur greeted reliever Brian Shackelford with his seventh homer of the season leading off the eighth. Casey countered with his second homer of the game, a two-out solo shot to right-center field off Kyle Farnsworth.

Atlanta added two more runs in the ninth on singles by Adam LaRoche and Francoeur off David Weathers.

Notes: Casey’s homer also gave him a nine-game hitting streak. His four RBIs tied the season high he set on May 18 at New York. The two-homer game was his first of the season and 10th of his career. … Harang struck out looking twice to extend his league-worst hitless streak to 42 at-bats, the longest of his career and the longest by a Reds batter since RHP Jack Billingham went 0-for-67 in 1973 … Atlanta is 14-3 in McCann’s 17 starts behind the plate. … Reds LHP Eric Milton celebrated his 30th birthday Thursday.

AP-ES-08-04-05 2221EDT


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