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Kyle Muller struggles early as Braves fall to Reds

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Atlanta’s three-game winning streak comes to an end.

Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images

Kyle Muller struggled early and the Atlanta Braves saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with an 12-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Muller allowed a couple of baserunners in the first but was able to escape with no damage. The Braves took the lead in the home half of the first as Jorge Soler walked and then came around to score on a bloop single by Dansby Swanson to make it 1-0.

That is pretty much where the highlights stopped for Atlanta. Muller came out in the second and retired Aristides Aquino and then struck out Eugenio Suarez. Tyler Naquin then roped a single to right and Reds pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez followed with a single that Soler misplayed to put runners at the corners. Muller then walked Jonathan India to load the bases for Jesse Winker who lined one just over the wall in right for a grand slam to give Cincinnati a 4-1 lead.

Muller’s struggles continued in the third as Joey Votto led off with a single. Tyler Stephenson grounded into a fielder’s choice but a walk to Aquino would end Muller’s night.

The Reds busted the game wide open against Josh Tomlin. Eugenio Suarez greeted him with a double to make it 5-1. Naquin followed with a homer to right to extend the lead to 8-1. Tomlin struck out Gutierrez for the second out but then surrendered a solo shot to India to make it 9-1.

Cincinnati added two more runs in the sixth on a home run right down the line by Kyle Farmer to extend the lead to 11-1.

This was the second straight start where Muller wasn’t dialed in and his roster spot is likely in jeopardy with Huascar Ynoa and Ian Anderson both close to returning. He allowed five hits, three walks and six runs in just 2 1/3 innings while throwing 72 pitches.

Tomlin was making his first appearance since August 3 and was forced to wear this one thanks to a depleted bullpen. He allowed eight hits, three of which left the yard, and five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

The Braves got their second run in the seventh on a long solo home run by Ozzie Albies into the home bullpen. The homer was Albies’ 80th of his career and moved him past Dan Uggla for the most by a Braves’ second baseman.

A.J. Minter made his first appearance since being recalled from Gwinnett earlier this week and looked good tossing two perfect innings with three strikeouts. Tyler Stephenson homered in the ninth off of Edgar Santana to make it 12-2. Joc Pederson scored on a wild pitch by Amir Garrett in the ninth to account for Atlanta’s final run.

The loss drops the Braves to 59-56 on the season and back into third place in the NL East standings. They will begin a nine-game road trip on Friday when they will open a three-game series in Washington against the Nationals.