NEW YORK -- Though it did not end as auspiciously as it began, this week's three-game series against the Yankees provided the Braves a sense of where they stand and created more motivation to conclude a challenging road trip in successful fashion.Freddie Freeman's early exit certainly didn't help as Julio
NEW YORK -- Though it did not end as auspiciously as it began, this week's three-game series against the Yankees provided the Braves a sense of where they stand and created more motivation to conclude a challenging road trip in successful fashion.
Freddie Freeman's early exit certainly didn't help as Julio Teheran extended his struggles against American League East opponents during Wednesday afternoon's 6-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
"You can't make mistakes against this team, the way this ball flies around here from right-center over," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're dangerous. That's why they are who they are."
After opening this series with an 11-inning win, the Braves lost two straight to the Yankees, who own the Majors' second-best winning percentage. Atlanta has gone 4-2 on this road trip and heads to Milwaukee for a four-game series that could determine which club enters next week with the National League's best record.
The Braves hope Freeman will be in the lineup for Thursday night's series opener against the Brewers. Freeman exited Wednesday's game after Carsten Sabathia's sinker struck his right triceps muscle.
"That was a good test for us," Freeman said. "Obviously, we didn't win the series, but we have a really good team and we're off to a really good road trip. Hopefully, we can end well in Milwaukee."
Having completed six scoreless innings in two of his three starts since coming off the disabled list, Teheran appeared to be cruising as he notched three of his 10 strikeouts during a perfect 10-pitch first inning. But the Braves' right-hander paid for the mistakes made against Giancarlo Stanton, who drilled a three-run, opposite-field homer in the third, and Kyle Higashioka, who gave the Yankees a 5-0 lead with his two-out solo shot in the fourth.
Because he was feeling sick and chose not to talk after the game, Teheran will have to later explain his reasoning for trying to paint the outside corner with the 0-2 fastball Stanton drilled a projected 410 feet, with a 111-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™.
Teheran allowed five earned runs over five innings and now has an 8.05 ERA over 11 starts against AL East teams since 2015. He became the first Braves pitcher since Tommy Hanson (May 15, 2010, vs. D-backs) to give up at least five earned runs and record double-digit strikeouts in the same game.
Yankees starter Sabathia extended his recent success by allowing two runs and five hits over six innings. The veteran is just one of four left-handers who have completed at least six innings and permitted two earned runs or fewer against the Braves.
Danny Santana, who replaced Freeman in the lineup, provided an RBI groundout in the fifth, and Johan Camargo added a two-out, sixth-inning homer to account for the only runs against Sabathia, who has a 2.09 ERA over six starts since the start of June.
"That's a good lineup," Sabathia said. "They have a really good team and some good hitters. Yeah, I mean, even when I felt like I was in control, I still had to make pitches. And you know, you're putting some runners on, having good at-bats. Yeah, they made me work today."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Before Aaron Judge welcomed Luiz Gohara back to the Majors with a seventh-inning solo homer that landed just over the short porch in right field, the Braves threatened to tie the game in the top half of the inning. Ender Inciarte and Ozzie Albies notched consecutive singles before Chad Green induced three consecutive flyouts. Kurt Suzuki's two-out fly might have reached the right-field wall had Judge not used his long reach to glove it in front of the warning track.
"I thought we handled ourselves really well," Snitker said. "We won a really tough game the first night. We put ourselves in position to win yesterday, and today again. These guys never quit. They know they can play with anybody now."
Camargo's solo shot was the seventh homer he has hit since May 29. This matches Freeman for the team lead during this span. Player Page for Max Muncy, Nolan Arenado, Eugenio Suarez and Matt Carpenter were the only NL third basemen to enter Wednesday with at least eight homers during this stretch.
"He's hitting for some power now," Snitker said. "He's just one of our younger guys who is getting valuable experience with these everyday at-bats in big situations. It's been fun to watch. He's growing just like the rest of them are."
Though they do not have much financial flexibility, the Braves will make every effort to add depth to the bullpen before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But their relief corps received a boost on Wednesday with the returns of Gohara and closer Arodys Vizcaino, who pitched a scoreless eighth. Vizcaino made his first appearance since his right shoulder began bothering him after his June 17 outing against the Padres.
The Braves recalled Gohara from Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday morning, and he promptly provided two solid innings. His four-seamer touched 96.1 mph and averaged 94.6 mph. Gohara averaged 93.3 mph with that pitch in the three appearances he made between ending his 10-day bereavement leave and being sent back to the Minors.
"He looked better than when he left," Snitker said of Gohara. "That was the hope, that if we got him down there and got him some starts, the stuff will start picking up. That was pretty good." More >
Braves left-hander Max Fried tries to extend his stay in the rotation when he faces the Brewers at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday at Miller Park. Called up to start in place of the injured Brandon McCarthy on Saturday, Fried struck out 11 Cardinals over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The 24-year-old hurler ranks as MLB Pipeline's No. 71 prospect. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.