Bruce Benedict's two-run single in the seventh inning snapped a tie as the undefeated Atlanta Braves won their seventh straight last night, beating the Reds, 8-5, in Cincinnati.

The Braves rallied from a 5-4 deficit in the seventh to hand the Reds their fourth defeat in a row.

Bob Horner's double off reliever Jim Kern following a walk to Brett Butler tied the game. Rufino Linares singled and Dale Murphy, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth, walked to load the bases before Benedict lined a single off Charlie Leibrandt with two out for a 7-5 lead.

This is the best start by the Braves since records started being kept in 1930 when the franchise was in Boston.

Linares entered the game in the first inning when right fielder Claudell Washington was hit in the forehead by a pitch. He was removed from the field on a stretcher and hospitalized for overnight observation, but a hospital spokesman said the injury did not appear serious.

Mets 5, Phillies 2: Dave Kingman hit a three-run home run and New York, in its home opener, defeated Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton for the second time in six days.

Kingman, who earlier doubled to set up his team's first two runs, was the first batter after a 35-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning. His homer gave Mets starter Randy Jones a four-run cushion and his second victory this season, both over Carlton and the Phillies.

The Phillies' Mike Schmidt had to leave the game when he strained a muscle in his left side.

Schmidt, who may be out 10 days, said, "I pulled a little muscle in batting practice. I didn't think it was anything important . . . I could hardly make it to first base. I can't cough, I can't take a deep breath."