Padres Shutout Braves Sunday, 4-0

Magic Number At Four

Sunday, September 15, 2013
Burch Smith took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Burch Smith took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran surrendered home runs to Chase Headley and Tommy Medica that provided more than enough support for San Diego rookie Burch Smith, who struck out 10 and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Padres dealt the Braves a 4-0 loss on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 36,125. 

The Braves dropped just their third three-game series at home this season and wrapped up the season series against San Diego with a puzzling 1-5 record.

The loss sets up a simple clinch scenario for the Braves as they head to Washington for a three-game series against the Nationals, with their magic number holding fast at four: Win the series, win the division. The Nationals have feasted on the bottom half of the NL East as of late, winning 10 of their last 12 ahead of a pivotal series for them that starts Monday at Nationals Park.

The Braves did not take advantage of their few opportunities on Sunday to push runs across against Smith, who was making just his fifth Major League start and had never lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in a game. After the two starting pitchers traded dominant frames through five innings, Teheran hit the wall his third time through the Padres' order and was lifted after giving up two home runs in a span of three batters.

Leadoff man Will Venable collected his second hit of the day to begin the sixth and notched his 20th steal of the season just ahead of an on-target throw to second from catcher Evan Gattis. Jedd Gyorko followed with an RBI single to left to open the scoring, and cleanup hitter Headley brought Gyorko around with his third home run of the series, taking a slider out to right field on a 3-2 count to put the Braves in a 3-0 hole.

When he reached third base in the bottom half of that inning, Teheran got the chance to compare notes with Headley, who will finish 2013 with four homers in six games against the Braves.

Medica cranked a fastball to left field to lead off the seventh for the second home run of his young career. Teheran exited three batters later, having given up four earned runs for the third time in his last six starts.

Smith employed his changeup as a devastating strikeout pitch, generating five of his first six strikeouts courtesy of the off-speed offering. The 23-year-old right-hander scattered three hits over seven shutout innings for his first career win. Freddie Freeman drew a walk in the fourth inning to give the Braves their first baserunner of the afternoon, taking second base on an errant pickoff throw by Smith. But Gattis struck out to strand Freeman on second and cap a stretch of six strikeouts in eight Atlanta outs.

Teheran foiled his counterpart's bid for the first no-hitter in Padres history with a dribbler that found a hole up the middle in the sixth. Justin Upton pushed Teheran to third with a seeing-eye single of his own, but Freeman popped out to shallow center and Gattis struck out once again to end the threat.

Just as he had last Tuesday in his first start since having his spot skipped in the rotation, Teheran found himself in a first-inning jam, but he was able to escape without allowing a run thanks to a pair of sparkling defensive plays behind him. Upton made a sliding grab to haul in a fly ball headed for shallow left field, and after Headley's single put runners on the corners with two out, Freeman made a diving stop of a shot down the first-base line.

Since they jumped on the Mets for 13 runs in a blowout victory on Sept. 2, the Braves have averaged just under three runs per game in their last 12 contests, a 5-7 stretch that has only raised the stakes for the upcoming series in D.C.

--- Source: MLB.com

The scoreboard would change after Julio Teheran's single spoiled Smith's no-hitter.
The scoreboard would change after Julio Teheran's single spoiled Smith's no-hitter.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Red Bank Eliminated From State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – The TSSAA State Volleyball tournament didn’t start off like the Red Bank Lionettes would have liked. It didn’t end like they wanted either as they got eliminated by the Lady Indians of Harpeth. Red Bank ended its season at 28-27 following the three-set 25-6, 25-16 and 25-15 loss in its second match of the day. Facing the Lady Irish from Knoxville Catholic ... (click for more)

Braves' Craig Kimbrel Named Top National League Reliever

ATLANTA -- Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred presented Craig Kimbrel with the Trevor Hoffman Award as the NL's Reliever of the Year and Royals closer Greg Holland with the Mariano Rivera Award as the American League's Reliever of the Year before the Royals and Giants played Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. This marks the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)