Braves' skid rises to eight as Teheran struggles

Three-run third inning not enough to offset ace's rough outing

Braves' skid rises to eight as Teheran struggles

SEATTLE -- The Braves will have to wait at least 48 hours before they can attempt to get over their worst road trip in 65 years.

Atlanta dropped a 7-3 decision to the Mariners at Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon to finish a three-team, eight-game West Coast road swing with an 0-8 record. It's the only time the Braves have gone winless on a road trip of at least eight games since the Boston Braves didn't notch a victory on an eight-game trip in 1949.

The 2014 Braves, meanwhile, fell to 58-56 and 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the National League East, with Washington playing two against the Mets before beginning a three-game set Friday in Atlanta.

On Wednesday, the Braves jumped out to a 3-1 lead against Mariners starter Chris Young (10-6) after Evan Gattis led off the third inning with Atlanta's first hit, a bloop single into left field, before B.J. Upton fanned. Back-to-back singles from Ramiro Pena and Emilio Bonifacio loaded the bases, then Tommy La Stella drew a walk to force in a run and tie the game at 1.

With the bases still loaded, Freddie Freeman followed with a double into left-center field that drove in two runs. La Stella tried to score all the way from first, but he was cut down at the plate on a relay throw from shortstop Chris Taylor. Nonetheless, the Braves had a 3-1 cushion and hope of avoiding a season-high eight-game losing streak.

"It's been a tough go this whole season," Freeman said. "Not even personally. It's been up and down for us as a team."

Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley led off the bottom of the frame with a solo blast, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Atlanta ace Julio Teheran (10-8) retired the next two hitters before Kyle Seager singled, then Taylor followed with a check-swing infield single that died about halfway between Freeman and La Stella.

First baseman Logan Morrison followed by blasting a towering three-run homer into the right-field seats to put the Braves in a 5-3 hole. Teheran allowed six runs, nine hits and two walks over six innings.

"It was a tough day for me," Teheran said. "I didn't have my best location."

"We gave the momentum right back to Seattle," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We just didn't get anything going after that."

From there, Atlanta didn't score against a Mariners staff that entered Wednesday with the best ERA in the Major Leagues. Teheran allowed a sacrifice fly to Taylor in the fifth inning, which gave the Mariners a 6-3 lead. Kendrys Morales added an RBI single in the seventh to push it to 7-3.

"It's hard to win when you have only one good inning," Freeman said.

The Braves fell behind quickly.

With one out in the first inning, Teheran allowed an Ackley single, then walked Robinson Cano. A batter later, he gave up a two-out RBI single to Seager, which put the Braves in a 1-0 hole.

There were a few positives: Freeman finished with three hits and Jason Heyward went 2-for-4, his fourth consecutive multihit game, but in a trend that underlined their road trip, the Braves couldn't capitalize. They finished with 10 hits.

"I liked the way our approach was against Young today," Gonzalez said. "We got some people on base. … I told them after the game that we're a better team than we've played on the road."

Starting in center field after getting Tuesday off, B.J. Upton hit a two-out ground-rule double in the fourth inning. Heyward would have scored from first base, but the ball hit the warning track and bounced over the wall, so he had to return to third base. Pena then grounded out to end the inning.

"It's just not matching up right now. It's not clicking on all cylinders at the same time for us," Heyward said.

The loss dropped the Braves to 4-10 in Interleague Play and 0-4 this season against the Mariners. Their eight-game losing streak is the longest since they fell eight consecutive times in May 2012. They are just 6-13 since the All-Star break.

The Braves have an off-day Thursday before they begin that 10-game homestand against three clubs -- the Nationals, Dodgers and Athletics -- that entered Wednesday in first place in their respective divisions.

"It's a big one, obviously," Freeman said. "We can be really far out of it or [get] back in it this weekend. We gotta take tomorrow off and, just like I said a couple days ago, regroup [and] come in with a sense of urgency on Friday."

Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.