Julio Teheran recorded his first career one-hit shutout as the Braves extended their season-best winning streak to five games and completed a three-game sweep with Sunday afternoon’s 6-0 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Michael Conforto’s third-inning leadoff single accounted for the only hit surrendered by Teheran, who retired 27 of the 28 batters he faced, including each of the final 21.. The Braves staked their ace to a two-run lead in the third inning, when Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis recorded two-out RBI singles off Jacob deGrom, who allowed three earned runs and five hits over six innings.
“Coming into this game, I wanted to do my part, and I know the guys have been doing great,” Teheran said. “Obviously, I didn’t want to be the one that lagged behind now that we’re playing well. So, I just wanted to do my part.”
En route to losing for the sixth time in their past eight games, the Mets allowed the Braves to extend their lead courtesy of Markakis’ sixth-inning leadoff home run against deGrom. Freddie Freeman’s RBI double off Antonio Bastardo during a two-run seventh inning highlighted his second four-hit game within the past five days.
“You have to give a little credit to the guy on the mound,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I know how it is here, and it’s always our fault and we’re not hitting, but that guy pitched pretty good today. It’s not always, ‘Oh well you guys aren’t hitting,’ and ‘You guys stink.’ He was pretty good, so give him a little pat on the back.”
Teheran was in total control as he notched his third career shutout and first since May 20, 2014. The right-hander, who has posted a 1.89 ERA over his past 12 starts, ended his 120-pitch masterpiece with seven strikeouts. He kept his pitches away from the barrel of bats while commanding his fastball and keeping the Mets off balance with an array of sliders, curveballs and changeups.
“I think his stuff is a good matchup against [the Mets],” Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. “They struggle with soft stuff in the zone. I knew it would be important to have a good feel for that today, which he typically does.”
Sunday was not deGrom’s finest outing of the season, but he pitched well enough to keep the Mets in contention. As has been the case for most of his starts recently, though, the right-hander did not receive any help from the Mets’ offense. Over deGrom’s last five starts, New York has tallied a combined eight runs. In that span, he has posted a 0-3 record despite a 2.81 ERA.
After deGrom opened the third inning by hitting Erick Aybar with a pitch, Inciarte, Freeman and Markakis notched three consecutive two-out singles. The Mets’ right-hander proved perfect during the fourth and fifth innings, but Markakis ended that stretch by beginning the sixth inning with his second home run of the season. The Braves had provided two runs or less of support in 11 of Teheran’s previous 11 starts.
As the Braves celebrated their second series sweep of the season, their mood was hampered by the revelation that Mallex Smith fractured his left thumb when he was hit by a Bastardo pitch during the seventh inning of Sunday’s game. A timetable for return won’t be announced until after Smith is further evaluated in Atlanta on Monday.
Bud Norris will take the mound when Atlanta begins a two-game series in Miami on Tuesday at 5:10 p.m. CT. The Braves are carrying a season-best five-game winning streak into Marlins Park, where they claimed a three-game series sweep in April. Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast beginning at 6 PM on Tuesday as part of the Atlanta Braves Radio Network.