Braves roll past Brewers behind big 7th inning

Braves roll past Brewers behind big 7th inning

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran produced his finest start of the season and the Braves rolled to a 10-1 win over the Brewers on Thursday night courtesy of a seven-run seventh inning that included Brewers left-handed reliever Will Smith being ejected for a foreign substance.

After Christian Bethancourt chased Brewers starting pitcher Matt Garza with a go-ahead single in the seventh, Smith entered and promptly hit Pedro Ciriaco with a pitch to load the bases. When Smith touched the substance on his right forearm after throwing the next pitch to Jace Peterson, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez got the attention of crew chief Jim Joyce, who quickly ejected Smith after touching the substance, which Smith said was sunscreen and rosin that he forgot to remove after warming up quickly in the bullpen.

Bethancourt's RBI single

"When [an opponent] tries to be that blatant, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do," Gonzalez said.

Once Smith exited while offering choice words toward the home dugout, the Braves registered four consecutive hits, including Nick Markakis' double. The uprising soured the effort provided by Garza, who had surrendered just two hits through the first six innings.

Markakis' RBI double

After watching Teheran limit his team to one run and two hits over seven innings, Brewers manager Craig Counsell expressed most of his postgame frustration toward Gonzalez's decision to alert the umpires of the substance.

"We're going to try to beat them the next three days," Counsell said. "That's the best retaliation."

Making his mark: After stealing second base and scoring on Markakis' two-out single in the first inning, Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin caught Ryan Braun's fourth-inning sacrifice fly against the outfield wall and then unleashed a powerful throw that caught Gerardo Parra trying to advance to second base on the play. The out stood after replay review. More >

Double play stands in 4th

Halting his recent woes: As Teheran proved perfect in six of his seven innings, he didn't look like the same guy who had allowed at least nine hits in three of his past four starts. The right-hander displayed an effective slider as he notched eight strikeouts and needed 12 or fewer pitches to complete five of his innings. He was solely tested in the fourth, when he issued Carlos Gomez a leadoff walk and then surrendered a pair of singles, including one that snuck under second baseman Peterson's glove. More >

Teheran's eight strikeouts

A sticky situation: Smith has been one of the Brewers' bullpen mainstays and was poised to get them out of another sticky mess Thursday. Smith, who was making his 19th appearance of the season (1-0 with a 2.13 ERA) came in with runners on first and third and one out in the seventh and promptly got Ciriaco down 0-2. He hit him with the next pitch, though, and after getting ahead of Peterson 0-1, Smith was ejected -- which he didn't take lightly. He immediately complained to the umpires, including Joyce, who had tossed him. And he yelled more from the visitors' dugout when Counsell was looking for an explanation from the crew. More >

Smith ejected in the 7th

Garza's tough luck: Garza actually had a decent night going until everything went wrong in the seventh. The righty gave up a run to the Braves in the first inning and then didn't allow a baserunner until Markakis walked in the fourth inning. The only hit he allowed after that -- until the seventh -- was a little looping double to Bethancourt in the fifth. That was it until Garza was chased by three ground-ball singles in the seventh. In all, he gave up five hits -- the four ground-ball singles and the soft double -- and four runs (all earned) in 6 1/3 innings. More >

Garza fans Freeman

"I touched it and immediately knew it was a foreign substance, unfortunately for [Will Smith] he has to be ejected." -- Joyce, on the decision to eject Smith

"[The substance] helps you be able to throw the ball. That's it. It's not going to spin more, you're not going to throw harder. You've got what you got." -- Smith, on the substance found on his right forearm during the seventh inning

Bethancourt notched a career-high three hits. The rookie catcher, who lost his starting job two weeks into this season, has recorded multi-hit performances in three of his past seven starts.

Braves third baseman Chris Johnson will take batting practice at Turner Field this weekend and begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Monday. If all goes well, he will be activated for Thursday's series opener in San Francisco. Johnson has been sidelined since May 2 with multiple bone bruises in his left hand.

Brewers: Wily Peralta will attempt to get back on track when Milwaukee and Atlanta resume their four-game series on Friday night at Turner Field at 7:35 p.m. ET. Peralta produced a 2.25 ERA through this month's first three starts and then allowed five runs in five innings against the Mets on Sunday.

Braves: Atlanta will counter with Alex Wood, who has allowed just one run over his past 12 2/3 innings. Still, after delivering seven strong innings against the Marlins on Saturday, the young southpaw admitted that he is still struggling to get a consistent feel for his two-seam fastball and changeup.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast. John Donovan is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.