ANAHEIM -- Julio Teheran navigated around three solo homers and Matt Adams and Danny Santana hit two-run doubles in a six-run third inning as the Braves topped the Angels, 6-3, in Monday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.
Atlanta sent 11 batters to the plate in the third, using five hits, a walk and an error by third baseman Cliff Pennington to build a 6-1 lead. Angels right-hander Ricky Nolasco lasted only 2 2/3 innings, yielding six runs (two earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out two.
"Just couldn't get out of that inning," Nolasco said. "I let some things get out of hand, and I couldn't get that last out. It kind of snowballed from there. It's disappointing."
The Braves' offensive eruption was enough for Teheran, who scattered six hits while walking one and striking out five over 6 1/3 innings.
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker lauded his starter, who managed to escape a two-out situation with men on second and third during the fifth inning, by striking out Kole Calhoun to end the threat.
"Big strikeout of Calhoun in the [fifth] inning," Snitker said of Teheran. "He was good. Got around the homers. He was really good at that."
Andrelton Simmons, a former Braves shortstop, opened the scoring with a solo shot in the second, and Jose Pujols and Luis Valbuena hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth that cut Atlanta's lead to 6-3.
Pujols is now only two home runs shy of becoming the ninth player in Major League history to reach 600.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pennington's costly error: Adams' ground-rule double put the Braves ahead, 2-1, in the third, but the Angels had a chance to escape the inning without allowing further damage. With two outs and runners on second and third, Tyler Flowers lined a hard-hit grounder to third that Pennington could not handle, knocking in another run and extending the inning. The Braves took advantage of Pennington's miscue, as Rio Ruiz followed with an RBI single and Santana's double off the right-field wall pushed the Braves' lead to 6-1 and chased Nolasco from the game. Four of the six runs scored against Nolasco were unearned.
"If we make a couple plays, I think that inning definitely doesn't get away from us with six runs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
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Angels leave them loaded: Down by three, the Angels had a chance to chip away at the deficit in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out. Martin Maldonado reached on a hit by pitch, and Pennington and Eric Young followed with back-to-back singles, prompting Snitker to lift Teheran in favor of Jose Ramirez. Ramirez worked out of the jam by inducing a 5-4-3 double play from Cameron Maybin, killing the Angels' rally and preserving the Braves' 6-3 edge.
"Yeah, I think he'll be OK tomorrow. He felt good. He had his cleats on today and took batting practice. I'm hoping tomorrow he can DH." -- Snitker, on second baseman Brandon Phillips' availability for Tuesday's game (right knee contusion)
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Valbuena's home run came under crew chief review to determine whether a fan in the right-field bleachers reached over the wall and interfered, but replay showed that the ball landed above the yellow home run line, confirming the call.
Braves: Veteran starter Bartolo Colon (2-5, 6.96 ERA) assumes the mound Tuesday evening against an Angels club with which he won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award. The 44-year-old enters with a career record of 12-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 24 starts against his former team. First pitch is scheduled for 10:07 p.m. ET.
Angels: Right-hander Parker Bridwell will make the first start of his Major League career on Tuesday as the Angels continue their three-game series with the Braves at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Acquired from the Orioles in April, Bridwell made the transition from relieving to starting after joining the Angels organization and recorded a 1.26 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) across two Minor League levels.
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