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Arizona (71-54)101000000270
Atlanta (65-59) 20220000x690

Smoltz fans season-high 12, gets help from Teixeira in win over D-Backs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- John Smoltz wasn't content with 12 strikeouts, a Braves franchise record and a lead through eight innings. He wanted more, telling manager Bobby Cox he was in a groove.

"I said 'Groove? You're completely unhittable. Nobody stands a chance,"' said Cox, who still brought in Bob Wickman to close out the Atlanta Braves' 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Smoltz gave up only five hits and two runs and Mark Teixeira drove in four runs with two homers as the Braves slowed down the Diamondbacks.

Smoltz, 40, passed Phil Niekro as the Braves' franchise strikeout leader. He set a season high for strikeouts.

Smoltz called the team record "an honor that I'll think about later," but Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said the record "is a huge milestone."

"Knucksie's one of the icons of the Braves organization," Jones said. "For John to pass him, he's pretty jacked up about it. It's another cool achievement in a very long career."

Arizona's Orlando Hudson said Smoltz was "unbelievable."

"He's just dynamic," Hudson said. "He throws strikes. He's a handful."

Smoltz threw 118 pitches but still lobbied for the chance for the complete game.

"He said 'I'm perfectly fine. I'm strong. I'm great. I'm in a groove,"' said Cox, who opted for caution in not pushing Smoltz, who has pitched with a sore shoulder at times this season.

"We have always talked about the danger pitches, once you get over 115 pitches," Smoltz said. "I just wanted to because I was feeling so good. But he made the wiser choice."

Yunel Escobar added a homer as the Braves scored six runs on seven hits -- each for extra bases -- in the first four innings.

Wickman got Hudson to ground out with the bases loaded in the ninth to end it.

The Braves snapped Arizona's four-game winning streak. The Diamondbacks won the first two games against the Braves and have won 10 of 11 series since the All-Star break.

"It was very much a must-win and I approached it that way," Smoltz said.

Smoltz (11-6) has a 3.05 ERA overall but only two wins since June. His 12 strikeouts are his high since fanning 15 New York Mets batters on April 10, 2005.

"Smoltz has been kind of a tough-luck loser the last couple of starts," Teixeira said. "We haven't gotten him a lot of support. For us to come here and score some runs early, he was great."

Smoltz began the day four behind Niekro's 2,912 strikeouts with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. Smoltz passed Niekro by striking out Mark Reynolds to end the third inning.

He received an ovation as the record was announced, and he tipped his cap to the fans as he entered the dugout.

Smoltz struck out three in the seventh, including Young and Stephen Drew after hitting Miguel Montero with a pitch and walking Jeff Cirillo.

Teixeira hit two-run homers in the first and third innings, giving him seven in 17 games with Atlanta and 20 for the season.

"The thing about me is I don't have any pressure on me," Teixeira said. "This lineup is so good, the players around me are so good that I can just go out there and be myself."

Yusmeiro Petit (2-4) gave up three homers and six runs in 3 2-3 innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Tucson for his ninth start for Arizona.

The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead when Young led off the game with a single and scored on Hudson's double to right. Young led off the third with a double and scored from third on a delayed double steal after Hudson, who walked, took off for second base.

Teixeira's second homer tied the game at 2, and the Braves took the lead in the fourth on Escobar's second homer, a triple by Willie Harris and a run-scoring double by Kelly Johnson.

Notes

  • Niekro, who also pitched for the New York Yankees, Cleveland and Toronto, is 10th on the all-time list with 3,342 strikeouts.
  • Smoltz struck out 10 or more for the 42nd time in his career. He also struck out 11 against Cincinnati on July 18.
  • Teixeira hit two or more homers in a game for the 17th time in his career and the second time this season. He hit two homers for Texas at Houston on May 20.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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John Smoltz dominates the Diamondbacks and takes the top spot on the Braves' all-time K list.  (AP)
John Smoltz dominates the Diamondbacks and takes the top spot on the Braves' all-time K list. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Teixeira
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
Atlanta

J. Smoltz
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 3
K 12
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5220034 .240
Stephen Drew, SS3000113 .231
Orlando Hudson, 2B4021113 .300
Conor Jackson, 1B2000113 .272
Mark Reynolds, 3B2000022 .278
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Clark, PH1000002 .231
    Edgar Gonzalez, P0000000 .200
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
   b- Augie Ojeda, PH1000001 .246
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .250
Jeff Salazar, LF4010002 .314
Justin Upton, RF4010031 .245
Miguel Montero, C3000012 .232
Yusmeiro Petit, P1000011 .077
    Jeff Cirillo, 3B2010100 .264
Totals32271413  
a-flied out for Cruz in the 6th
b-popped out for Slaten in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Young (21, Smoltz), Orlando Hudson (24, Smoltz), Jeff Salazar (4, Smoltz)
SH - Stephen Drew (5)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (62)
SB - Chris Young (20, off Smoltz/McCann), Orlando Hudson (7, 2nd base off Smoltz/McCann)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
PB - Miguel Montero (5)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Yusmeiro Petit (L,2-4) 3.2766233 5.14
Juan Cruz 1.1100100 3.06
Edgar Gonzalez 1000010 5.38
Doug Slaten 1000000 2.30
Tony Pena 1100110 2.60
Pitches-Strikes - Yusmeiro Petit 79-49, Juan Cruz 25-15, Edgar Gonzalez 12-8, Doug Slaten 14-9, Tony Pena 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yusmeiro Petit 2-6, Juan Cruz 1-2, Doug Slaten 1-2
Batters Faced - Yusmeiro Petit 20, Juan Cruz 5, Edgar Gonzalez 3, Doug Slaten 3, Tony Pena 5
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF4110010 .315
Kelly Johnson, 2B3221100 .291
Chipper Jones, 3B4000003 .331
Mark Teixeira, 1B3224100 .291
Brian McCann, C3020111 .273
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000023 .303
Andruw Jones, CF3000101 .213
Yunel Escobar, SS4121002 .315
John Smoltz, P3000001 .103
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000012 .342
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
Totals3269645  
a-struck out for Smoltz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Kelly Johnson 2 (22, Petit, Petit), Yunel Escobar (13, Petit)
3B - Willie Harris (7, Petit)
HR - Mark Teixeira 2 (20, Petit, Petit), Yunel Escobar (2, Petit)
RBI - Kelly Johnson (61), Mark Teixeira 4 (68), Yunel Escobar (21)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (35), Mark Teixeira 4 (27)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Escobar-Teixeira
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (W,11-6) 85223120 3.05
Bob Wickman 1200110 3.74
HBP - Montero (by John Smoltz), Jackson (by John Smoltz)
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 118-80, Bob Wickman 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 6-5, Bob Wickman 1-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 33, Bob Wickman 6
Game Information
Attendance - 30818
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - John Hirschbeck