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

PHOTOS: UTC Women Open Big In SoCon Tournament

Peyton Manning To Come Back For Another Season With Denver

The Denver Broncos announced on Thursday that VFL Peyton Manning will return to the team for his 18th NFL season. Ironically, 18 years to the day, he announced he would return to the Vols for his senior year on March 5, 1997. Manning is coming off his second-best season in terms of passing yards (4,727) and third-best in passing touchdowns (39) in his career. In his ... (click for more)

Judge Orders Cortez Sims Tried As Adult After Emotional Testimony At Juvenile Court In Shooting Of 4

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw on Thursday morning ordered that 17-year-old Cortez Sims be tried as an adult in a College Hill Courts shooting that left one woman dead, a toddler paralyzed, and two others wounded. The order was given after emotional testimony from two of the victims in the Jan. 7 early morning mass shooting at 773 W. Main St. Bianca Horton and Marcell "Baby ... (click for more)

County School Bus Driver Alexander Rodriquez Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old Student

A county school bus driver has been charged with raping a 15-year-old student.   Alexander Rodriguez, 34, of Dusty Trail, Ooltewah, was being held on $350,000 bond.   The sheriff's office said it got a report at 9:30 p.m. of a missing juvenile, who was last seen boarding a school bus at Sale Creek High School that afternoon.    ... (click for more)

The Middle Valley Walmart Makes No Sense

There has been quite a bit of hoopla over the proposed new Walmart grocery store in Middle Valley.  Since my family has lived in Middle Valley in a home they built by hand way back in 1954 and said house is now housing generations 3, 4 and 5 I feel that I can give my opinion based on nothing more than life experience.    When this house was built there was a gravel ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)