Game Notes: Braves (7-6) vs. Reds (8-5)

The Braves and Reds continue their three-game series tonight and play for the second of six meetings this season. Horacio Ramirez takes the mound for Atlanta, opposed by Aaron Harang.

TONIGHT'S GAME: The Braves and Reds continue their three-game series tonight and play for the second of six meetings this season. The Reds make the return trip to Turner Field September 21-23...last season the teams split the six meetings, with the Reds claiming two of the three games in Cincinnati. Since the Braves came to Atlanta, the Reds hold a 309-273 edge, including a 156-136 advantage in Cincinnati...

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Barry Larkin's two-run single in the 5th inning put the Reds ahead for good, 3-2. John Thomson threw 7.0 innings, giving up six hits, three walks and two strikeouts in addition to the three earned runs. The two Braves runs came on Marcus Giles' two-run HR in the 3rd inning, his second HR of the season. J.D. Drew returned to the lineup after missing five games with a mild left hamstring strain.

WELCOME TO TURNER FIELD, HOME OF THE FANS: This season's April attendance at Turner Field is the highest since 2000. Through nine games, the Braves are averaging 32,525 fans, up 32.4% from 2003 when the team averaged 24,133 after 16 April home dates.

NEWEST HALL MEMBERS: Congratulations to Braves broadcasters Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren, who will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame on Friday, August 13...Skip and Pete, both in their 29th season behind the microphone for Braves games on TBS, join Tommy Holmes and Kid Nichols in the Hall of Fame Class of 2004...this will mark the sixth annual Braves HOF luncheon and induction ceremony.

FEAST OR FAMINE: The Braves offense has dictated this season, scoring just 13 runs in their six losses but 51 runs in their seven wins.

SMOLTZ ALONE IN SECOND: John Smoltz notched his 113th career save Saturday night, moving him past Mark Wohlers (112) for second place on the club's all-time saves list...Gene Garber garnered 141 saves in his Braves career.

HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: SS Rafael Furcal returned on Sunday after missing seven games with a strained lower back and showed his legs were in fine shape, stealing second and third in the 7th inning. Furcal came in to play SS and Jesse Garcia moved to 2B after Marcus Giles was ejected after the fifth inning...he added his third stolen base of the season last night.

THE STREAKER: 2B Marcus Giles had his career high 11-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-3 on Sunday prior to his ejection. Giles was 19-for-45 (.422) during the streak and is now at .396, good for 5th in the NL in batting.

INJURY UPDATE: J.D. Drew returned to the lineup last night after coming out of last Monday's (4/12) game in the ninth inning with a mild left hamstring strain...he missed five games...Chipper Jones left Sunday's game in the 6th inning with a strained right hamstring...he is expected to be out at least 5-7 days, but could play in about a week...he will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis...he has missed one game so far.

KEEP THOSE BAGS PACKED: Tonight's game is the second game of the Braves longest trip of the season - 12 games and 13 days - to Cincinnati, Florida, San Francisco and Colorado...there are two open dates sandwiched around the two-week trip, giving the Braves just three home games from April 12 to May 3.

ROSTER RUNDOWN: The Braves's roster includes 12 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders...there are eight first-time Braves on the roster and just 11 of the 25 players were with the Braves on opening day last season...there are two players on the disabled list (LHP Armando Almanza, and RHP Paul Byrd) and one rookie (Adam LaRoche) on the squad.

MMMMM....HALF-PRICED FOOD: Braves fans will have the opportunity to try Turner Field's new menu items such as the chicken pesto sandwich and beer-battered fries, along with the traditional classics at half price May 4-6 when the San Diego Padres come to town and May 18-20 when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit. All concessions, except in the 755 Club and the Chop House, are discounted including non-alcoholic beverages like Turner Field's new low-carb smoothies, milkshakes and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

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