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ATLANTA (AP) — A memorable afternoon for Kelly Johnson almost didn't happen.
Johnson was a last-minute addition to the lineup, and he hit a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves shut out the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Sunday.
Johnson also got to greet his son at third base as part of a Little League pregame ceremony where local youngsters get to meet a Braves player at each position before the first inning. His son was waiting for Johnson when he took the field.
"It was special for me, for sure," Johnson said. "His team had a blast."
As for his home run on this day, "you are kind of left shaking your head. Sometimes you're speechless," Johnson said.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Saturday he was planning on resting Johnson after seven straight starts. Gonzalez changed his mind when he arrived at the ballpark Sunday.
"Sooner or later, we're going to give him one because he's not a young kid anymore, but it was one of those gametime decisions," Gonzalez said. "I had the mindset of giving him a day off and I started messing around a little bit and we decided to give (Alberto) Callaspo a day off and it paid. It made me look good."
Julio Teheran gave up just three singles in six sharp innings as Braves got a split of the four-game series.
Teheran (3-1), an NL All-Star last year, came into the game with a winning record despite three straight sub-par starts. He struck out five in a row during one point and fanned a season-high six overall.
Teheran was never threatened after the Braves built an early 4-0 lead. He walked two.
"He pitched a nice ballgame and never gave us anything," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "He just really shut us down."
Cody Martin, Michael Kohn and Luis Avilan combined for three innings of one-hit relief as the Braves recorded their second shutout of the season.
Reds shortstop Zack Cozart left the game in the fourth when he bruised his right index finger fielding a grounder by Teheran. He was charged with an error. X-rays were negative.
Johnny Cueto (2-3) was roughed up from the start, allowing five runs and nine hits in six innings.
"If you would have told me we'd score five runs against Johnny Cueto, and he would only go six innings, I'm may have stopped and got some Lotto tickets," Gonzalez said. "He's tough."
Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman hit back-to-back doubles in the first inning and Johnson followed that with a two-run drive. Johnson leads the Braves with five home runs.
Cueto escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, but surrendered a solo home run to Jonny Gomes in the third. Freeman, Jace Peterson and Johnson also hit flyballs to the center field warning track in the first three innings.
Cameron Maybin added an RBI single in the sixth inning after Cueto balked Peterson to second base.
Reds: RHP Jason Marquis showed no ill effects the day after taking a line drive off his right forearm. Price said he expects Marquis to make his next start.
Reds: The Reds have an off-day on Monday and will open a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. It will be the fifth game of a 10-day road trip. Rookie Michael Lorenzen (0-1) will make his second career start after going five innings in his major league debut an 8-3 loss to the Brewers in which he allowed three runs.
Braves: Atlanta will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since the opening week of the season when it hosts the last-place Phillies in the opener of a three-game set Monday. Alex Wood (1-1) will start for the second time this season against the Phillies. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 Braves loss. The Phillies will start Aaron Harang (2-2).
The Braves' first five hits of the game were for extra bases — three doubles and two home runs. The five extra-base hits allowed were a season-high for Cueto, who entered the game having given up eight extra-base hits in his first five starts.
After enjoying a stellar first three games in the series during which he was 6 for 13 with a home run, Cozart had a rough finale. Prior to leaving with the injury, he was hit by a fastball in the first inning and grounded out in his only other at-bat before leaving the game.
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