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

Randy Smith: He's Just A Little Boy

A few years ago, I saw this poem on signs at a few youth ball fields. Back in the 1980s it prompted us to do a series on youth baseball when I was sports director at WDEF-TV. The series won a state-wide award, and was hosted by my assistant Bill Ericson.  "He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast. The bases are loaded, the die has been cast. Mom and Dad ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Community College Baseball Offers Summer Tournaments

Cleveland State will host a series of summer baseball tournaments at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland.    Ages and dates are as follows: June 4 – June 5           16 & under  (enter by  May 13 ) June 10 – June 12          1 8 & under    ... (click for more)

Volkswagen Chattanooga Builds First Midsize SUV Test Body

Volkswagen Chattanooga has reached an early production milestone with the completion of the first assembled metal test body   for the upcoming Midsize SUV. The production of the first assembled metal test body is an early step towards the full production of the Chattanooga-made Midsize SUV, scheduled to begin production late this year and hit the market in 2017. The first ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)