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St. Louis at Atlanta

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St. Louis (62-39)000000000020
Atlanta (59-45) «00000002x290

Teheran dominates potent Cards lineup in Braves' win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons and the Braves haven't said much about last year's NL wild-card loss to the Cardinals.

Beating the Cardinals in July won't make up for that playoff defeat. But Simmons said it's a start.

Simmons hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Braves, boosted by Julio Teheran's sharp outing, beat the Cardinals 2-0 Saturday in a matchup of NL division leaders.

The Braves have won the first two games of the first series between the teams this season. The Cardinals beat the Braves 6-3 at Turner Field in last season's wild-card game.

"They're a great team," said Simmons of the Cardinals. "They got us last year in a pretty big game. We owe them some. It's good to see this team beating them."

Teheran allowed two hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Simmons' bases-loaded, two-out double came on a 99 mph fastball from Trevor Rosenthal. With the count at 2-1, Simmons was looking for a fastball.

"I know he was behind in the count and I know he's comfortable with his fastball," Simmons said. "He throws pretty hard. I was ready for it. ... I was just looking for something over the plate and he threw it somewhere I could reach it."

Randy Choate (1-1) walked Freddie Freeman to open the eighth. Evan Gattis struck out and Brian McCann singled. Rosenthal relieved and struck out Dan Uggla before walking Chris Johnson to load the bases.

Luis Avilan (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Craig Kimbrel recorded three outs to earn his 30th save.

Cardinals starter Joe Kelly pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and walking three in only his fourth start of the season and first appearance since July 12.

"Very, very impressive," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "It was maybe the best I've ever seen him throw. Everything. His aggressiveness, his slider, breaking ball, changeup, all of them were as good as I've seen.

"That was exactly what we were asking for, and then some."

Kelly may have earned himself another opportunity as the Cardinals' No. 5 starter.

"I like pitching, period," he said. "To be in the rotation would be awesome but I just take the ball when they tell me and take the opportunity when I get out there.

"I'm pitching right now in the moment. I feel like my stuff is there, in the zone."

Kelly matched Teheran through the sixth before finding trouble in the seventh.

With one out, Simmons singled and moved to third on pinch-hitter Joey Terdoslavich's soft double to the left-center gap.

Kelly issued an intentional walk to Jason Heyward to load the bases. Right-hander Michael Maness replaced Kelly and got Justin Upton to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Teheran allowed a two-out double to Matt Holliday in the first and then walked Allen Craig. The right-hander permitted only one baserunner -- Jon Jay doubled in the fifth -- through the next six innings.

"I think that's the best game I've ever pitched," Teheran said. "The command I had today, I think that's the best I've had this year."

Holliday was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game. He had been out since July 12 with a strained right hamstring.

Simmons hit eighth as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez juggled his lineup. Heyward hit leadoff for only the second game this season. Upton, normally the No. 3 hitter, batted second for the first time in 2013.

Simmons had two hits. He ranks second on the team with 14 go-ahead RBIs, but said he was overdue to deliver the clutch hit.

"I know I've been struggling with runners in scoring position this year," Simmons said. "I've been trying, but it's nice to see results."

Notes

  • With two hits and a walk, Johnson is hitting .332 to tie the Cardinals' Yadier Molina for the NL lead. Molina was 0 for 3.
  • The Cardinals optioned OF-1B Brock Peterson to Triple-A Memphis to clear a roster spot for Holliday.
  • Gonzalez said he is 95 percent certain RHP Brandon Beachy, returning from elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will come off the DL to start Monday night's game against Colorado.
  • The three-game series ends Sunday night when Atlanta RHP Kris Medlen faces St. Louis rookie RHP Shelby Miller.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Andrelton Simmons hits a two-run double in the eighth inning, breaking open a scoreless game for the Braves. (USATSI)
Andrelton Simmons hits a two-run double in the eighth inning, breaking open a scoreless game for the Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

A. Simmons
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

J. Teheran
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B4000020 .321
Carlos Beltran, RF4000000 .295
Matt Holliday, LF4010010 .268
Allen Craig, 1B2000110 .329
Yadier Molina, C3000002 .332
David Freese, 3B3000010 .272
Jon Jay, CF3010000 .249
Daniel Descalso, SS-3B3000011 .266
Joe Kelly, P2000011 .100
   Pete Kozma, SS1000010 .242
Totals2902018  
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (16, Teheran), Jon Jay (14, Teheran)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Descalso-Craig, Descalso-Craig-Kozma-M. Carpenter-Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Kelly 6.1700330 3.44
Seth Maness 0.2000000 2.65
Randy Choate (L,1-1) 0.1122110 2.78
Trevor Rosenthal 0.2100120 2.20
IBB - Heyward by Joe Kelly
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kelly 86-57, Seth Maness 1-1, Randy Choate 10-5, Trevor Rosenthal 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kelly 6-9, Seth Maness 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Kelly 28, Seth Maness 1, Randy Choate 3, Trevor Rosenthal 4
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, CF3000100 .220
Justin Upton, RF4010001 .249
Freddie Freeman, 1B2100211 .301
Evan Gattis, LF4010012 .259
Brian McCann, C4120001 .290
Dan Uggla, 2B3000124 .204
Chris Johnson, 3B3020100 .332
Andrelton Simmons, SS4022004 .242
Julio Teheran, P2000012 .195
   a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH1010000 .222
   b-Jose Constanza, PH-LF1000012 .174
Totals3129256  
a-doubled for Teheran in the 7th
b-struck out for Avilan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andrelton Simmons (12, Rosenthal), Joe Terdoslavich (2, Kelly)
RBI - Andrelton Simmons 2 (37)
2-OUT RBI - Andrelton Simmons 2 (8)
Team LOB - 10
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Julio Teheran 7200160 3.07
Luis Avilan (W,3-0) 1000010 1.32
Craig Kimbrel (S,30) 1000010 1.37
Pitches-Strikes - Julio Teheran 88-53, Luis Avilan 11-7, Craig Kimbrel 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julio Teheran 7-8, Luis Avilan 2-0, Craig Kimbrel 2-0
Batters Faced - Julio Teheran 24, Luis Avilan 3, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 48312
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Chris Conroy