By Mark Bowman and Aimee Sachs
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- Comforted by the three-run first inning his offense produced against Johnny Cueto, Julio Teheran halted his recent woes with a strong mound performance that guided the Braves to Sunday afternoon's 5-0 win over the Reds at Turner Field.
While Teheran scattered three hits over six scoreless innings, Cueto surrendered three extra-base hits before recording his second out of the day. Kelly Johnson highlighted Atlanta's three-run first inning with a two-run homer, and Jonny Gomes added a solo shot in the third inning.
"He was up," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Cueto. "Sometimes when you talk about a pitcher's stuff, stuff only correlates when it's commanded and well located. And today, I thought he had good stuff but without the command that really made it the typical Johnny Cueto type of stuff. And [the Braves] took advantage of it, to their credit."
The two victories the Braves claimed during this four-game series were produced against Anthony DeSclafani, who entered Friday's start with a 1.04 ERA -- which led the National League at the time -- and Cueto, whose ERA rose to 1.95 to 2.72 by the time he completed his six-inning stint.
Meanwhile, Teheran, who had produced a 4.67 ERA over his previous five starts, allowed just one baserunner to advance as far as third base.
"I think we all expected Teheran to bounce back," Johnson said. "He's got some great stuff and he's a great pitcher. He looked locked in. All we needed was one run, and that is always a good sign."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Julio relies on the heater: Concerned after watching Teheran allow at least four runs in three consecutive starts, Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell instructed his young right-hander to get back to relying on his fastball. Teheran obliged as he utilized his fastball with 64 of the 102 pitches (62.7 percent) he threw against the Reds. He struck out five consecutive batters after walking Joey Votto to begin the fourth inning. More >
Cueto's shaky start: For the first time this season, Cueto did not pitch into the seventh inning. The Reds righty was tagged for a season-high five runs on nine hits -- five for extra bases -- in six innings. He had allowed just eight runs in his previous five starts. More >
Fast start: The Braves took advantage of the early opportunities provided by Cueto. Andrelton Simmons sparked the first-inning uprising with an opposite-field double and trotted home when Freddie Freeman doubled off the right-center-field wall. Johnson followed with his fifth homer to provide an early three-run advantage for the hosts. More >
Cozart exits early: Reds shortstop Zack Cozart left the game in the bottom of the fourth with a bruised right index finger after mishandling a ground ball hit by Teheran. He was replaced by Kristopher Negron, who started an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. X-rays on Cozart's finger, which was still bleeding after the game, came back negative. More >
"If you would have told me we'd score five runs against Johnny Cueto and he'd only go six innings, I would have maybe stopped and got some lotto tickets." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Braves tallied their last run on Sunday when Jace Peterson advanced to second on a balk called by first-base umpire Bob Davidson and later scored on Cameron Maybin's RBI single. Cueto has already matched the career-high balk total (three) he produced in 2012.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: Cincinnati will rest on Monday and then begin a three-game series against the Pirates on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Michael Lorenzen will be making his second career start for the Reds. The former first-round Draft pick allowed the Brewers three earned runs over the five innings he completed in his Major League debut last week.
Braves:Alex Wood will attempt to bounce back from his worst start of the young season when he takes the mound for Monday night's series opener at 7:10 ET against the Phillies. Wood, who surrendered five runs over five innings against the Nationals on Wednesday, has posted a 2.08 ERA in five career starts against Philadelphia.