Perez gets key hit in Atlanta Braves' victory

By Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange

ATLANTA -- Eury Perez has not exactly been a clutch performer with two outs this season. And he had gone all season without a chance to hit with the bases loaded.

But the light-hitting left fielder came up big in the eighth inning under tough circumstances. He looped a two-out single into shallow right field to drive in two runs and lift the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.


"That was a big at-bat in a big situation," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You had to feel good that he was going to put the ball in play."

With the bases loaded, Perez -- batting only .111 (2-for-18) with two outs -- hit the first offering from right-hander Pedro Strop (1-5) in front of Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler, allowing first baseman Kelly Johnson and catcher A.J. Pierzynski to score with ease. Those were the second and third RBIs of the season for Perez.


The Braves won their eighth straight over the Cubs at Turner Field and snapped a five-game losing streak.

The winning pitcher was rookie Arodys Vizcaino (1-0), who worked a perfect eighth. Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks lasted 5 2/3 innings and was removed after 100 pitches. He allowed two runs (one earned), four hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision for the second consecutive start.

"He was really good again," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. "He had thrown 100 pitches and (Juan) Uribe had some good swings against him."

Maddon called on Justin Grimm, who allowed a hit and a walk before retiring Perez on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop.

Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless seventh and Maddon went to Strop in the eighth, who allowed two runs on two hits and two walks.

"I still have faith in Stroppie," Maddon said. "I still believe he has some of the best stuff."

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran also did not figure in the decision. He was lifted with two outs and runners on first and second base in the fifth.


It was the first time in nine starts that Teheran had not pitched at least five innings. He allowed two runs, five hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Ross Detwiler, who was signed by the Braves on Friday, got the final out in the fifth inning and the Braves tacked on four more scoreless innings, with Ryan Kelly, Luis Avilan, Vizcaino and Johnson throwing one inning apiece.

"Detwiler came in and got a big out," Gonzalez said. "And the rest of the game set up pretty well for us. We pitched well."

The Braves opened with a run in the first, ending a streak of 23 scoreless innings for Hendricks.

Right fielder Nick Markakis reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and took third when the throw from Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber went into center field. Markakis scored on a single by Johnson.

Teheran pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the top of the first without allowing a run but could not escape the same scenario in the third.

With one out, center fielder Dexter Fowler walked and went to third on Schwarber's sharp single to right. After third baseman Kris Bryant struck out and first baseman Anthony Rizzo walked, Soler singled to left field, driving in two runs to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.


Atlanta tied the score at 2 with a run in the third. Center fielder Cameron Maybin worked a two-out walk and scored when Markakis doubled into the corner in right field.

NOTES: Atlanta extended the contract of Fredi Gonzalez through the 2016 season, with a club option for 2017. Gonzalez has been the manager since 2011 and has a record of 400-337 (.543). Each member of the major league coaching staff also received an extension through 2016. ... The Cubs had a call overturned in the fifth inning. Video replay showed that Atlanta PH Jonny Gomes was thrown out on a grounder to shortstop. First base umpire Tim Timmons called Gomes safe. The review took 40 seconds. ... The Cubs placed C Miguel Montero on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb and recalled C Kyle Schwarber from Triple-A Iowa. Montero is hitting .230 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs in 73 games. Schwarber, the team's first-round draft choice from 2014, is starting his second stint with the Cubs. He batted .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and six RBIs during a six-game stay, June 16-21. ... The Braves signed RHP Jason Frasor and LHP Ross Detwiler and recalled OF Joey Terdoslavich and RHP Ryan Kelly from Triple-A Gwinnett. The club placed RHP Jason Grilli on the 15-day DL (ruptured left Achilles), optioned RHP Jake Brigham and RHP Mike Foltynewicz to Triple-A Gwinnett and designated RHP David Carpenter for assignment. ... The second game of the three-game series is Saturday. Chicago will send LHP Jon Lester (4-8, 3.59 ERA) against rookie Atlanta LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0, 0.75).


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