Teheran pitched six shutout innings and shortstop Andrelton
Simmons homered, lifting the Atlanta Braves to an 8-0 victory over
the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a four-game series at Great
American Ball Park.
"It was tough to pitch today," Gonzalez said. "We had some long
innings, put some big numbers up, had some quality plate
appearances. We kept the line moving. Julio kept his concentration.
He was sitting on the bench a long time."
Atlanta (67-61) won for the sixth time in eight games to remain
within seven games of the first-place Washington Nationals in the
National League East standings.
Teheran (12-9) allowed just four hits in six innings with no walks
and three strikeouts. It was his 21st quality start this season.
"I was trying to stay warm, stay loose," said Teheran. "I was trying
to battle with the weather, the humidity. Sometimes the ball will
slide off your hands. Sometimes when you have a big lead you just
try to concentrate and do your thing."
Left fielder Justin Upton went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the
Cincinnati (61-67) has lost six straight and is 10-23 since the
All-Star break, dropping them farther out of postseason contention.
Reds starter David Holmberg (0-1) was promoted from Triple-A on
Thursday and allowed six earned runs, walked four and hit two
batters in 2 2/3 innings.
"We were hoping for a few more innings from him and it didn't work
out," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "With runners on, he'd reach
back and try to throw harder. They figured out pretty quickly that
when he needed a pitch, he was going to a changeup, and they put the
barrel on a couple of them."
Left fielder Skip Schumaker pitched a scoreless ninth inning for
Cincinnati, becoming the first Reds position player to pitch since
"When your highlight is Skip Schumaker pitching, that says enough
about the game," said Price.
Holmberg, who made a spot start in the nightcap of a doubleheader on
July 8 and gave up five earned runs including three homers, was hit
hard early again Thursday.
In the second inning, Holmberg hung a 75 mph breaking ball to
Simmons, who sent it sailing into the left field stands to put the
Braves ahead 1-0.
The Braves, who are 21-20 in one-run games this season, erupted for
five runs in the third after the umpires correctly upheld a
manager's challenge that Schumaker trapped right fielder Jason
Heyward's pop fly.
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Atlanta loaded the bases with no outs, and Upton's single drove home two
runs to make the score 3-0. Third baseman Chris Johnson doubled off the
wall to drive home the fourth run. A sacrifice fly by catcher Evan
Gattis made the score 5-0.
"That's definitely not what I wanted to do," said Holmberg. "This team
needed to win a game and I wanted to go out there and try to win the
ballgame. I didn't stay focused. The snowball effect you get at this
level was a factor."
It went from bad to worse for Holmberg, who intentionally walked center
fielder B.J. Upton to get to Teheran, who was hit by a pitch to load the
bases. Holmberg then walked Heyward to drive in the Braves' sixth run.
"It was a good team win," said first baseman Freddie Freeman. "We came
out swinging the bats well. We got on them early. Julio was awesome
NOTES: Cincinnati promoted RHP David Holmberg and RHP Pedro Villarreal
from Triple-A Louisville and optioned RHP J.J. Hoover and RHP Carlos
Contreras to Triple-A on Thursday. Hoover is in the midst of a 10-game
losing streak, longest in club history for a reliever. ... Entering
Thursday's action, the Braves led the National League with a 17-8 record
this season against NL Central opponents, including 3-0 against
Cincinnati. ... Braves CF B.J. Upton celebrated his 30th birthday on
Thursday. ... Braves 1B Freddie Freeman made his 128th start this
season. Freeman and Giants OF Hunter Pence are the only major league
players to start every game for their clubs. ... Braves LF Justin
Upton's third-inning single extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ...
Reds RHP Pedro Villarreal singled in the third inning for his first
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