Julio Teheran's effort sets up Atlanta Braves for win over Chicago Cubs

By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO -- Julio Teheran may be showing the way forward as the Atlanta Braves seek to dig out after a wretched start.

The right-hander had no decision in the Braves' 4-3 10-inning Sunday victory -- Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly in the 10th drove in the decisive run -- but tossed seven shutout innings for his second straight strong outing.


"Julio was tremendous, he was really good," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "This is now back-to-back outings. ... I was hoping for seven innings of 94-95 pitches and get him out of there. He carried his velocity through the last hitter he faced."

Teheran, who remained 0-3, actually threw 109 pitches -- 68 for strikes -- while limiting the Cubs to two hits, walking one and striking out nine.

"I felt really good throwing out there, even if it was cold," Teheran said. "I got control of the game the whole time and I was commanding all my pitches and it turned out pretty good. Whenever you feel good you're able to compete."


Teheran gave up one run on six hits in his last start on April 25 in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox.

Markakis' one-out sacrifice fly to deep left in the 10th inning drove in Daniel Castro from third to give the Braves a rare win.

Atlanta (6-18) has won two of its last three and salvaged a split in an abbreviated two-game series. The Cubs (17-6) saw a four-game winning streak snapped as reliever Hector Rondon (0-1) took the loss.

Arodys Vizcaino (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings for the win while reliever Jason Grilli faced four batters in the ninth his second save for Atlanta.

Chicago was held scoreless through seven innings, then rallied to force a 3-3 tie with two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth.

Addison Russell lined an RBI single to right to score Ben Zobrist with one out in the ninth off Vizcaino for a 3-3 tie.

"We could have done things earlier in the ballgame to push us across that threshold, but we didn't," said Russell. "(But) I liked the way the team battled."

Cubs starter John Lackey also had a no-decision. He was pulled for a pinch hitter after working eight innings and allowing two earned runs on three hits. Lackey struck out two and walked three.


"I felt great, threw the ball pretty well," Lackey said. "(I) was locating pretty much everything. Fed (newly activated catcher Tim Federowicz) and I had a pretty good plan. Executed pretty well."

Trailing 3-0 late, the Cubs trimmed the margin with a pair of eighth-inning runs.

Braves reliever Jim Johnson entered in the eighth and allowed runners to reach second and third with one out before departing for left-hander Hunter Cervenka, who faced one batter.

Jason Heyward grounded to second on a fielder's choice to score pinch hitter Matt Szczur for the Cubs' first run. Vizcaino then gave up an RBI single to left to Kris Bryant, scoring Dexter Fowler to trim the deficit to 3-2.

The Braves broke a scoreless tie in the fifth as Kelly Johnson led off with a double to left, reached third on Tyler Flowers' groundout to second and came home on Jace Peterson's sacrifice fly to right for a 1-0 edge.

Atlanta made it 2-0 in the sixth after putting runners at second and third with one out. Mallex Smith -- who went 3-for-4 -- scored from third on an Adonis Garcia grounder that was bobbled for an error by Russell.


Johnson's RBI grounder into a double play allowed Markakis to come home from third for a 3-0 lead.

"We had one mistake on defense," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "I thought it was a little bit of a tough out for Addy. Otherwise, they hit some balls well today. We hit some balls well today without any luck.

"(But) I really appreciate the way our guys came back (and) once again, had a chance to win the game and give them credit for fighting back as they did," Maddon added.

Bryant was back in the Cubs' starting lineup after rolling his right ankle on Thursday while rounding the bases against the Brewers. He had a further chance to rest thanks to Saturday's rainout.

NOTES: Saturday's rainout didn't disrupt pitching lineups, it merely pushed both starters back a day. But figuring out a makeup date remains unresolved. ... The status of Braves utility player Emilio Bonifacio remained in limbo. He was in the clubhouse but could not be activated under MLB rules governing releases and signings. Bonifacio is ineligible to join the Braves until Saturday and left Atlanta a player short for Sunday's game after the club optioned RHP Chris Withrow to Triple-A Gwinnett to open the roster spot. ... The Braves hadn't decided on a starter yet for Monday's series opener at the New York Mets as of Sunday afternoon. ... Two rainouts in the past six days limited the Cubs to just three games in that span. But Sunday's game started a run of 11 games in as many days, including a mini-road trip opening Monday with a three-game series in Pittsburgh. ... Chicago is back home on Thursday to start a four-game set with NL East-leading Washington. ... Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (3-0, 0.75 ERA) meets Pirates RHIP Cerrito Cole (2-2, 2.78) on Monday. ... The Cubs finished 17-5 in April. The last NL team with a similar start was the 2003 San Francisco Giants.


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