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Milwaukee Brewers edge Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves

By Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange
Milwaukee Brewers edge Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

ATLANTA -- A career-best 12 strikeouts by Julio Teheran wasn't enough to get Atlanta Braves interim manager Brian Snitker a victory in his first home game Tuesday night.

Scooter Gennett drove in the tie-breaking run with a two-out single off reliever Bud Norris in the eighth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Braves, 2-1.

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Teheran allowed just three hits over seven innings, but one was a home run by Ryan Braun leading off the fourth that broke a 15 2/3-inning scoreless streak by the right-hander.

Teheran, who didn't walk a batter and threw 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes, is winless in six home starts and is 1-4 overall despite a 2.57 ERA.

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"He's doing what he can do and he was obviously good tonight," Snitker said. "He was so efficient with everything. It's just a shame that he didn't get rewarded with a win."

The victory was just the seventh in 21 road games for the Brewers (19-26), who were swept over the weekend by the Mets in New York.

Jonathan Villar walked with two outs off Norris (1-6) and stole second base to set up Gennett's decisive hit, which came on a 3-2 pitch.

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With Braun on deck, Gennett knew he'd be challenged.

"I knew they didn't want to walk me," said Gennett, who had been 0-for-3 and came in batting .232. "I tried to be patient. I got a good pitch to hit and took advantage of it."

The Braves (12-32) fell to 2-18 at home with another loss and are 3-4 since Snitker took over for Fredi Gonzales May 17 in Pittsburgh. They have lost their last 10 home games decided by one run or less.

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Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson was nearly as impressive as Teheran, allowing four hits and a run over six innings while lowering his ERA to 2.92. The right-hander struck out eight, walked three and hit a batter before leaving after 101 pitches.

The Milwaukee bullpen allowed just two runners over the final three innings. Michael Blacek (2-1) got credit for the victory and Jeremy Jeffress registered his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Teheran struck out four in the second inning, becoming the first Braves pitcher to do that in an inning since former closer Craig Kimbrel against Miami in 2012.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who should have been the third out, reached on a wild pitch and Aaron Hill followed with a single before Ramon Flores struck out to end the inning.

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Teheran then stuck out the side in the third, giving him seven strikeouts in eight batters.

"He didn't leave a lot in the middle to hit and he was using his off-speed [pitches] well," said Gennett, who struck out his second time up. "Changing speeds is what he did really well."

Braun, though, picked on a slow 2-2 slider leading off the fourth inning and lined his eighth homer of the season over the center-field fence.

Teheran, who has a 0.89 ERA in his past six starts, had gone 29 1/3 innings without giving up a homer.

The Braves, who wasted a no-out, bases-loaded opportunity in the second inning against Nelson, tied it the fifth as Mallex Smith followed a single by Erick Aybar with a triple pulled into the right-field corner.

The Brewers have played 10 consecutive games decided by two runs or less, going 5-5.

The Braves, meanwhile, can't catch a break in close games.

"It was exciting, but I wish the outcome was different," Snitker said of his first home game. "Just a hit here or there or a ball falling in and there would be a different feeling right now."

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NOTES: Brewers LHP Will Smith, who made 76 relief appearances last year and 78 in 2014, began an injury rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Brevard County. He tore the ACL in his right knee during spring training. ... LHP Brian Matusz was designated for assignment by the Braves after being acquired from Baltimore as part of a deal for two Atlanta minor leaguers. ... The Braves got the 76th pick in the June draft as the key part the deal. ... Atlanta now has five of the first 80 picks, including No. 3. ... The Braves optioned LHP Manny Banuelos, who had been on a rehab assignment after elbow surgery, to Triple-A Gwinnett. ... RHP Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.96 ERA) will start the middle game of the series for the Brewers on Wednesday against Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-2, 4.15 ERA). ... The Brewers have not won a road series, losing five and splitting two.

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