ATLANTA -- Jay Bruce says the Reds have had an impressive first half, even if they are in third place in the NL Central. A big showing by the Reds offence provided the perfect confidence boost before the All-Star break. Bruce hit a two-run homer in Cincinnatis four-run third inning, Shin-Soo Choo also homered, and the Reds beat Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves 8-4 on Sunday. Bruce led the Reds with three hits. Brandon Phillips had a two-run double in the ninth, and Choo had two hits and scored three runs as the Reds split the four-game series. "Weve had a good first half," Bruce said. "Obviously, were not in first place and thats where we want to be, but weve played well, especially with the injuries weve had. To still be right here in the hunt, were in good shape right now. "Were looking forward to the second half." The Reds began the day five games behind St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the division. They gained a game on the Pirates, who lost to the Mets. The Cardinals played the Cubs on Sunday night. "It makes for a better All-Star break," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We had a chance to really take three out of four or maybe even sweep them but well take what we got." Bruces homer was his first since he hit two on June 22. He had gone 18 games without one. "I really dont pay attention to that stuff," he said. "I started off July a little slow but slowly got heated up a little bit. Its a long month." Reds right-hander Logan Ondrusek (3-0) threw two scoreless innings as the second reliever behind Tony Cingrani, who lasted only four innings. Teheran (7-5) allowed five runs, seven hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings. Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla hit homers for Atlanta. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was held out because of a jammed left thumb that will prevent him from playing in the All-Star game on Tuesday. The Braves had outfielders Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Freeman sustain injuries in the series. The team placed B.J. Upton on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a right adductor muscle strain. "We lost a lot of key players but the guys that stepped in did a terrific job for us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You felt good that we had a chance. Even today. We hit the ball hard. "Anytime your back is up against it like we were and guys respond, you feel good about your club." Atlanta catcher Brian McCann was named to replace Freeman on the NL All-Star team. The Reds led 5-3 before scoring three times in the ninth off Anthony Varvaro. Phillips double drove in Choo and Joey Votto, and Phillips scored on Todd Fraziers single. Control problems pushed up Cingranis pitch count. The rookie left-hander, who threw 96 pitches, allowed two runs -- one earned -- four hits and three walks in four innings. It matched his shortest start. Cingrani was frustrated early in the game by home plate umpire Sam Holbrooks strike zone. "They were calling them low, and Tony and (catcher) Devin (Mesoraco) thought they were strikes," Baker said. "Sometimes you get tested, especially when youre a rookie and youre not going to get a lot of the near-strikes. Sam was consistent and thats all you can ask the umpire to do." Cingrani gave up a run in the second but stranded three runners. Reed Johnson singled with two outs and scored on Gerald Lairds double. Cingrani loaded the bases with two walks, but ended the inning by snagging Jose Constanzas liner. Atlantas missed opportunity for a bigger inning set the stage for the Reds four-run third. Cingrani led off with a bunt single, and Choo also singled before Vottos double and Brandon Phillips groundout each drove in a run. Bruces 19th homer pushed the lead to 4-1. The Braves added an unearned run in the third. Simmons walked, moved to third on Chris Johnsons single and scored when Reds shortstop Zack Cozart caught a liner by Evan Gattis and then threw wildly to first base in an attempt for a double play. Choo led off the fifth with his 13th homer. Gattis was 0-for-4 in his return from the disabled list after playing only two games in his rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Gwinnett. Gattis was the fill-in starter for Freeman, who jammed his thumb Saturday night. Gattis had been out since June 18 because of a right oblique strain. Constanza made a running catch of Choos drive to left field in the first inning and made another leaping grab of a drive by Bruce in front of the wall in the ninth. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman gave up Simmons eighth homer in the ninth. NOTES: Cingrani also lasted only four innings on May 10 against Milwaukee. ... The Reds went 3-4 on their seven-game trip, splitting the four-game series with Atlanta. ... McCann is a seven-time All-Star. ... Gonzalez said doctors have determined Justin Upton sustained a severe cramp, instead of a strained left calf, in Fridays game. The Braves hope Justin Upton and Heyward (strained right hamstring) can return after the All-Star break without DL stints. Tyeler Davison Jersey . For the Wild it was their first win of the season and they now have a record of 1-1-2 while the Jets fall to 2-2. Jets start a six game home stand Friday with another divisional game, home to the Dallas Stars. Rickey Jackson Jersey . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position. http://www.cheapsaintsjerseyssale.com/?tag=morten-andersen-jersey-sale . LOUIS -- Mike Smith is used to facing plenty of shots, so this was nothing new. David Onyemata Jersey . Its sharpness matched my mind. This was no night to go to sleep. Josh LeRibeus Jersey . Q: Team Canada announces their Olympic roster three weeks from today. Who is general manager Steve Yzerman watching? LeBrun: Over the last 48 hours, hes taken in the home-and-home between the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche with Jamie Benn and Matt Duchene being the obvious targets. Afghanistan 178 for 6 (Shahzad 84) beat Scotland 132 (Wallace 33, Nabi 3-26) by 78 runs (D/L method)Scorecard and ball-by-ball detailsMohammad Shahzad produced his fifth ODI fifty for Afghanistan, a typically belligerent knock, to set up a 78-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method over Scotland at The Grange on Wednesday afternoon. In another stop-start day of cricket, Afghanistan made the most of Shahzads excellent foundation and eventually sauntered home despite an audacious early reply from the hosts in pursuit of an adjusted DLS target of 211 in 36 overs.Shahzad reached his half-century off 55 balls and eventually finished with 84 off 91 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, to set up a total of 178 for 6 in 37.2 overs prior to a three-hour, ten-minute rain delay. Shahzad went after all the Scotland bowlers including Safyaan Sharif - who bowled a mostly tidy opening spell of 0 for 24 in eight overs, with two maidens - thrice striking him over midwicket for boundaries. In the 15th over, he launched Ruaidhri Smiths full length over mid-on for both of his sixes.The opener offered one chance to Con de Lange, whose left-arm spin kept Afghanistans lineup harnessed throughout the middle overs after the loss of Noor Ali Zadran and Javed Ahmadi. Shahzad tried to break free of the pressure on 60 and skipped down the pitch to loft de Lange but Brad Wheal spilled a simple chance at long-on, denying de Lange a deserved wicket on a day he finished with 0 for 16 in six. Shahzad fell to Smith in the end, a slower ball fooling the batsman. Shahzad couldnt keep his hands back long enough on the shot and a toe-edge was snapped up by Cross for the first of Wheals two wickets.Shahzads dismissal swelled Scotlands momentum in the field, which had begun to build with the wicket of Mondays centurion Rahmat Shah for 26, taken at mid-off by Craig Wallace off Sharif one over prior to the fall of Shahzad. Alasdair Evans, who had earlier claimed the wicket of Noor Ali, removed captain Asghar Stanikzai with a bouncer fended awkwardly to Richie Berrington at backward point. Najibullah Zadran then miscued a drive to mid-off for Wheals second wicket and Afghanistan had stumbled from 131 for 2 in the 29th over to 171 for 6 in the 37th. The rains came six balls later and the players sat for 190 minutes before play resumed with Scotland pursuing the adjusted target score.The first seven overs of the Scotland chase were a thrill a minute as Craig Wallace, batting for the first time in ODIs in his third match, fearlessly charged the Afghanistan attack.dddddddddddd Undeterred by the second-ball dismissal of Kyle Coetzer, caught at slip, Wallace declared his intentions in the first over, going down on one knee to slog-sweep the 140kph pace of Dawlat Zadran over deep square leg for six. In Dawlats next over, he missed attempting the same shot and absorbed a nasty blow on the right shoulder but continued his crusade. In the fourth, Wallace hooked Shapoor Zadran for six and drove him to the cover rope to knock him out of the attack.Cross then set about doing the same to Dawlat, cracking him over backward point before a pulled six over midwicket took the score to 46 for 1 in five overs. Mohammad Nabi was brought on in the sixth and should have had Wallace first ball after a charge down the pitch went awry but Shahzad fluffed a simple stumping on 21. The next two balls were struck for four and six by Wallace before Nabi ended the furious stand at 58 runs, getting Cross caught on the midwicket boundary by Najibullah Zadran for 24.Legspinner Rashid Khan was then brought on from the Pavilion End and Wallaces stay ended for 33 courtesy an athletic return catch to swing momentum Afghanistans way. Shapoor eventually returned in the 13th to claim captain Preston Mommsen, who hooked a bouncer straight to Rashid at long leg for 13. Mommsens wicket crucially put Afghanistan ahead on D/L calculations for the first time and with rain threatening to come back at any moment, that advantage was further cemented three balls after drinks when Richie Berrington was given leg before to Nabi for 19 after missing a sweep.Michael Leask was stumped for Nabis third wicket before Shapoor bowled Sharif with a full delivery to take his second. Ruaidhri Smith drove Dawlat to Rashid in the covers to make it 122 for 8 as the serious challenge Scotland gave Afghanistan through most of the day became obscured by the flurry of wickets. A trio of lbw shouts from Rashid in the 27th over finally bore fruit with Evans trapped on the back leg before de Lange holed out to mid-on off Mirwais Ashraf to end the match, Scotland all out for 132 in 27.1 overs.Afghanistan now head to Belfast to take on Ireland in the first of five ODIs starting July 10. 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