ATLANTA -- Triple-A Louisville left-hander Aroldis Chapman bounced back from a rough outing with a scoreless effort Wednesday night. But he had to leave his start at Lehigh Valley with two out in the sixth inning because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
The 22-year-old Cuban defector allowed three hits and no runs in his 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking three. He threw 96 pitches, 63 of them strikes.
Chapman (4-2) got credit for the 4-2 victory while lowering his ERA to 3.98 in eight Triple-A starts. He has 48 strikeouts and 24 walks in 40 2/3 innings.
In his previous start at Rochester, Chapman allowed eight earned runs and nine hits over 3 1/3 innings. He was pulled during a six-run fourth in which he allowed a three-run homer. Rochester won that game, 13-4.
Cabrera returns to leadoff spot
ATLANTA -- Orlando Cabrera was back in the leadoff spot against the Braves on Wednesday after having his 10-game hitting streak snapped when he went 0-for-4 in the fifth hole Tuesday against Milwaukee.
The veteran shortstop hit first the previous nine games, going 13-for-41. But manager Dusty Baker made the switch in the series finale against the Brewers because he needed help in the middle of the lineup with Scott Rolen not starting.
Cabrera, who has batted all over the lineup during his career, was glad to get back to the top of the order. He hit second before taking over the leadoff spot.
"I like batting first," Cabrera said. "It's worked out good. But I'll bat anywhere. I just want to be in the lineup."
Cabrera's hitting picked up after being moving to leadoff, but it mainly may have been because he was getting more familiar again with the National League. He spent all of the past five seasons in the American League after starting his career in the NL with Montreal.
"It's all new to me," Cabrera said. "I'm still learning the pitchers and trying to get used to the National League again."
Owings returns to scene of beaning
ATLANTA -- The last time the Reds played at Atlanta in 2009, Micah Owings was credited with the victory and the game-winning RBI. It came with a price, though.
Owings was beaned by a Kenshin Kawakami pitch with the bases loaded in the 12th inning Sept. 6 and suffered a perforated left eardrum. He pitched just three times the rest of the season.
"It was amazing I didn't get a concussion," said Owings, who grew up in North Georgia and started his college career at Georgia Tech. "My folks claimed it showed just how hard-headed I was."
But the right-handed pitcher had trouble hearing for several weeks, and tests this spring indicated he still has issues with his left ear.
Owings is 3-0 in 10 relief appearances this season and has 20 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. But he is just 1-for-8 at the plate, going 0-for-3 as a pinch-hitter.
Known almost as much for his hitting as his pitching, Owings has eight career homers, including four in 2007 when he was with the Diamondbacks. Two of those came at Atlanta during a game in which he drove in six runs and got the victory.
"It seems like every time I come back here, something happens," Owings said.
Owings still holds a share of the Georgia high school record for homers in a season. He hit 25 in 2002 for Gainesville, located about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta.
Reds play just two times in Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Because of a scheduling quirk, the Reds play just two games in Atlanta this season and only five all told against the Braves.
There are usually at least six games against every other National League team.
"Anybody know why?" Reds manager Dusty Baker said when asked about the oddity before the start of the abbreviated series at Turner Field on Wednesday night.
Interleague Play, which begins Friday for the Reds in Cleveland, is part of the equation, with the fact that the Central Division has six teams also a factor.
But this is the first time that the Reds have been scheduled to play just two games in another NL city. The series finale is Thursday afternoon.
"It stinks," said Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who is from the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain. "We're here for like a day and a half. Why couldn't this happen somewhere else?"
Said Baker: "It's tough for the guys from here."
The Reds and Braves played nine times last year, with two series in Cincinnati, and 10 times in 2005, with two series in Atlanta.
This, apparently, is a little bit of payback. The teams' only other series is a three-game set in Cincinnati at the end of July.
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.