WASHINGTON -- Strengthening the theory of momentum being the next day's starter, the Braves quickly distanced themselves from Friday night's crushing loss with the help of Julio Teheran, who bested All-Star Stephen Strasburg in more ways than one during Saturday afternoon's 13-0 win over the Nationals at Nationals Park.Teheran set
WASHINGTON -- Strengthening the theory of momentum being the next day's starter, the Braves quickly distanced themselves from Friday night's crushing loss with the help of Julio Teheran, who bested All-Star Stephen Strasburg in more ways than one during Saturday afternoon's 13-0 win over the Nationals at Nationals Park.
Teheran set the tone as he scattered four hits over seven innings and contributed a pair of run-producing singles before Strasburg exited after the third with the Braves owning a 6-0 lead. Atlanta would be in position to sweep this four-game series had closer Jim Johnson not let a three-run, ninth-inning lead slip away in Friday's 10-inning loss.
"It's good to see the guys bounce back after the extra-inning game and the late night [Thursday]," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're a resilient group. When you're starting pitcher gives you that performance, it keeps guys on edge and they keep pushing and grinding."
Strasburg escaped a 20-pitch first unscathed, but never seemed to find comfort as he allowed six runs (three earned) and surrendered seven hits in three innings. He has allowed six runs four times within his past 21 starts. The Braves have accounted for three of those occasions, including both of their matchups against him this year.
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The Nationals right-hander did not record a strikeout, marking the first time in his career he has been blanked in this category while pitching more than one inning. He also induced just three swing and misses, which stands as his second-lowest total since Statcast™ began in 2015.
"Bad luck, to be honest," Strasburg said. "Other than [Freddie Freeman] and [Nick Markakis], they really weren't squaring the ball up. I just got singled to death."
Markakis finished a triple shy of the cycle and teamed with Brandon Phillips to make some key defensive contributions that carried Teheran through the early innings. Matt Adams' three-run homer in the ninth added to the onslaught produced by the Braves, who have won six of the past nine matchups.
"You've got to play well as a team to beat a team like that," Markakis said. "We did today. I think we played probably the best defense we did all year and we pitched and we hit. When you get all three, usually good things happen."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Helping himself: Within his first two plate appearances, Teheran doubled his previous season hit total (two) and improved to 4-for-7 in his career against Strasburg. The Atlanta hurler followed the first of Kurt Suzuki's two RBI singles with one of his own in the second. Teheran then capped his eighth career multi-hit game with a two-run single in the third.
"You could tell [that] was going to be the pitchers' day today because when he gets two hits, I looked up there and I think he was hitting .103," Washington manager Dusty Baker said, "so that just shows you anybody with a bat is dangerous."
Teheran's offensive contributions allowed the Braves to overcome their first three hitters -- Ender Inciarte, Phillips and Freeman -- combining to go 2-for-16.
"When you have a pitcher getting more hits than a position player, that really says a lot," Phillips said.
Fantastic Phillips: The Nationals had a chance to cut into the Braves' 6-0 lead in the third when Daniel Murphy came to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second. Murphy's knock had an exit velocity of 100.2 mph and had a 79 percent hit probability, per Statcast™, and was headed for right field. But Phillips' diving catch ended the frame as the Nationals finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the first time this season. More >
"We hit some balls extremely hard," Baker said. "They made some great plays out there on us. I guess it just wasn't our day. ... Hopefully we go another 80-something games without getting shut out."
"I'm feeling strong. That's the way I want to feel, especially the way I've finished the first half. I'm feeling happy. I know the numbers have been kind of different, but I'm happy with the way I feel. Now I'll concentrate on the second half." -- Teheran, who produced his highest average four-seam fastball velocity (94.2 mph) in both of his final two starts before the All-Star break
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Teheran enters the break with a 2.53 ERA in nine road starts and a 7.58 ERA in nine home starts.
Braves: Atlanta rookie lefty Sean Newcomb will start the finale of the four-game series Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET at Nationals Park. Newcomb impressed through his first four starts and then was humbled as he lasted just 3 1/3 innings against Houston's potent lineup Tuesday.
Nationals: The Nationals will cap their four-game series Sunday before five players travel to Miami for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on FOX). Coming off three quality starts, Joe Ross will start for Washington. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA in two starts against Atlanta this year.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Nationals on Friday.