The law of averages finally caught up with the Cincinnati Reds.
After posting a 33-10 record, Cincinnati has lost eight of its last nine and five in a row including a double-header to Atlanta Tuesday, 8-3 and 3-2."You can't stay hot like they were all season," Braves Manager Russ Nixon said. "They were getting all the breaks earlier, now they're not."
Cincinnati's troubles Tuesday started in the second inning of the opener. Starter Danny Jackson, 1-2, was hammered for five runs including a Greg Olson grand slam that put Atlanta up 5-3. The Reds never were able to recover as Tom Glavine, 3-4, took charge with his first complete game of the season.
Despite the losing streak, the Reds, who led the Western Division by 10 games nine days ago, but were five games in front of San Diego after the two losses, are not panicking.
"We played well against the Braves," Cincinnati Manager Lou Piniella said. "But we just didn't get the hits when we needed them. We'll be all right when we put some runs on the board and break out of this slump."
"You can't get any worse breaks than we've been getting," reliever Norm Charlton said. "But we're still in first place and we'll be okay."
In the nightcap, Tommy Greene, two days out of the minors, hurled five three-hit innings for a win and loser Jose Rijo, 4-2, gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings.