NEW YORK -- The Braves showed in a big way on Thursday afternoon that they are not going away in the National League East division race.Right-hander Julio Teheran had his best game of the season as Atlanta pounded the Mets, 11-0, at Citi Field. The Braves not only swept the
NEW YORK -- The Braves showed in a big way on Thursday afternoon that they are not going away in the National League East division race.
Right-hander Julio Teheran had his best game of the season as Atlanta pounded the Mets, 11-0, at Citi Field. The Braves not only swept the three-game series, but they have won seven of the their last eight games and strengthened their hold on first place in the NL East, with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Mets.
Atlanta completed a 7-3 road trip and will open a three-game series against the Giants at SunTrust Park on Friday, when phenom Ronald Acuna Jr. will make his home debut. Manager Brian Snitker believes the fans will be pumped.
"I think it's going to be rockin' tomorrow night, quite honestly," Snitker said. "Figured the road trip we had, the way these guys are playing. They are leaving it out there every night. I think it will be rockin' tomorrow."
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The Braves were wondering how far Teheran would go on the mound after he exited his last start after three innings with right shoulder tightness and his fastball was clocked in the high 80s. It was a different story on Thursday. Teheran retired 20 of the first 21 hitters he faced, while his fastball was clocked in the low 90s. The only Met to reach base against him through six innings was Yoenis Cespedes, who walked in the fourth. The no-hitter was broken up in the seventh on a two-out double by Asdrubal Cabrera.
"I was confident that he was going to be OK, because he assured me that he was," Snitker said. "He moved around good, location was good. It was good to see him finish strong."
Teheran didn't care how hard he threw. All he worried about was locating the ball.
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"It was something I was doing pretty good today," he said, "Whenever I do that, I feel happy."
Down by 11 runs, the Mets tried to rally in the seventh inning, loading the bases with two outs, but Amed Rosario popped up to first baseman Freddie Freeman to end the threat.
"He obviously pitched a great game. To take a no-hitter into the seventh, you have to have everything working," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "That's exactly what he had. He had a fastball that, even though it wasn't super high-velo, it was sneaky. It was getting by guys. He elevated really good, up and in on guys, and just mixed pitches."
The Braves continued to get contributions throughout their lineup. Kurt Suzuki, Acuna, Nick Markakis and Ozzie Albies each went deep.
With Mets left-hander Jason Vargas on the mound, Atlanta took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when Freeman scored on a double by Markakis, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Suzuki followed and hit a monster two-run homer to left, giving Atlanta 32 first-inning runs over 30 games.
Acuna tagged Vargas for his second Major League home run to lead off the fifth, and after Freeman walked, Markakis clobbered a two-run homer, his fifth of the season, to give Atlanta a 6-0 lead.
Acuna's homer left the bat with a 112-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™, making it the Braves' hardest-hit ball this season and their third-hardest home run since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. The blast was projected to travel 451 feet, tying it for the second-longest Braves homer during that time. Freeman hit one 464 feet in '15.
"We have a tough lineup -- up and down. Other teams are starting to notice that," Markakis said. "We noticed it from Day One in Spring Training. We have some great additions. It is fun to be a part of."
The Braves added five more runs against reliever Matt Harvey in the seventh inning. Albies highlighted the scoring with a three-run homer.
"It's not just one guy. It's all of them. To a man, they go up there and it's almost like their at-bats are a big deal," Snitker said. "They are not taking any at-bats off. They are not giving anything away. They are grinding through each and every one of them."
Suzuki has 24 home runs since the beginning of last season, tied for the second most among NL catchers in that time with Yadier Molina and just two behind the leader, the Dodgers' Yasmani Grandal.
Acuna's SunTrust Park debut in the series opener vs. San Francisco starts at 7:35 p.m. ET on Friday. Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound for Atlanta looking to win his third game of the season, but he may have a tough time against the Giants. In his last outing against them last May, Foltynewicz allowed five runs in four innings. He'll face Chris Stratton, who is looking to forget his last start, when he allowed six runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Dodgers.
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.