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Gausman's 1st Braves win helps Atlanta into 1st

Right-hander allows 1 run while pitching exclusively from stretch
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Two weeks after giving the appearance they might be fading, the Braves stand tied with the Phillies atop the National League East.

With less than 50 games remaining, the Braves have rediscovered the energy they generated through the season's first few months. Their bid to further legitimize themselves as postseason threats was bolstered as Ender Inciarte notched another multihit performance and the recently acquired Kevin Gausman quieted a potent offense in Friday night's 10-1 win over the Brewers at SunTrust Park.

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ATLANTA -- Two weeks after giving the appearance they might be fading, the Braves stand tied with the Phillies atop the National League East.

With less than 50 games remaining, the Braves have rediscovered the energy they generated through the season's first few months. Their bid to further legitimize themselves as postseason threats was bolstered as Ender Inciarte notched another multihit performance and the recently acquired Kevin Gausman quieted a potent offense in Friday night's 10-1 win over the Brewers at SunTrust Park.

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"I was excited to get him and thought what we had going on was going to be a big plus for him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I've always loved his arm. He's been very impressive the first two starts."

Video: MIL@ATL: Snitker on huge offensive day in the win

Appearing in front of the home crowd for the first time since being acquired from the Orioles on July 31, Gausman pitched exclusively from the stretch as he allowed one run and scattered six hits over eight innings. The veteran hurler opted to ditch the windup while talking to pitching coach Chuck Hernandez during Wednesday's bullpen session.

"My last bullpen, I was working on staying closed a little longer," Gausman said. "It was just something that felt really good in my bullpen. So, Chuck was like, 'You can pitch out of the stretch the whole game if you want to.' I just told him I was going to take it into the game and see how I liked it. I felt like I didn't really miss a beat."

Video: MIL@ATL: Gausman makes a nice leaping grab in the 6th

Since losing 13 of 18 from July 3-28, the Braves have won nine of 12 and provided an indication they have every intention of remaining in the postseason chase until the bitter end. They have now moved percentage points ahead of the Brewers for the lead in the Wild Card race. They have not sat more than 3 1/2 games back in the division race since April 24, which will be remembered for the debut of Ronald Acuna Jr., who notched his fourth three-hit performance since the All-Star break in this latest victory.

Johan Camargo paced the Braves with a four-hit attack that began when he teamed with Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte to record three consecutive two-out RBI singles against Freddy Peralta in a three-run first inning. Camargo doubled in the third and scored on a two-run double by Inciarte. The early cushion was comforting for Gausman, who delivered on the Braves' request for him to focus on getting ahead more consistently.

Video: MIL@ATL: Camargo goes 4-for-5, drives in 2

Gausman recorded just 11 balls through the first five innings and threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 23 batters faced through the first six innings. The 56.4 first-strike percentage he carried into the game ranked 69th among 75 qualified pitchers.

The efficient outing was fueled by the command of a his four-seam fastball, which he threw 55 times and got 18 called strikes. The combination of his changeup and splitter induced 12 whiffs within 29 pitches.

"I knew I was filling up the strike zone early," Gausman said. "That's one of the biggest things they said when I got here, 'We're big believers in getting ahead.' They showed me the numbers when you don't. It kind of makes you want to throw up. I kind of took that into [account] tonight and just tried to pound the zone."

Video: MIL@ATL: Inciarte scores Markakis on fielder's choice

Gausman posted a 4.24 ERA over 127 starts for the Orioles after being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Now in a more energized setting with the backing of a better defense and the comfort of not having to face American League East offenses, he has the potential to significantly influence the Braves' bid to reach the postseason.

"I could tell from the first day I got here, these guys are the real deal," Gausman said. "They want to win not just now, but in the future."

Video: MIL@ATL: Freeman singles in Acuna Jr. in the 4th

DIFFERENT OUTCOME
When Peralta limited the Braves to one run over six innings on July 6, he induced 14 whiffs and 17 called strikes while totaling 81 four-seam fastballs. The rookie starter entered Friday with the fourth-highest whiff rate among all starting pitchers who had induced at least 250 swings with a four-seam fastball this year.

The top two pitchers in that category are the Mets' Jacob deGrom and the Nationals' Max Scherzer, a pair of pitchers who started games won by the Braves over the past week. Atlanta also had its way with Peralta, who allowed a season-high seven hits and seven earned runs over a season-short three innings. He induced two whiffs within an array of 62 four-seamers.

"We studied him just like we do all of the pitchers," Camargo said. "We made the adjustments and we didn't try to make too many changes with our approaches specifically, but just made some tweaks here and there. Markakis got the charge going early and I feel it just snowballed for us there."

Video: MIL@ATL: Markakis plates Albies with a double in 1st

SOUND SMART
• Markakis recorded a pair of doubles, increasing his NL-leading total to 35. He became the first player in Braves franchise history to notch at least 35 doubles in four straight seasons. With five, Chipper Jones and Hank Aaron are the only Braves with more 35-double seasons than Markakis.

Ozzie Albies drew three walks. He entered the game without a walk since July 2.

HE SAID IT
"Unfortunately in Baltimore, the crowds just really weren't into the games. That's one of the things I noticed right away, just how involved they were. It seemed like with every pitch, they were engaged." -- Gausman, on his first impression of Braves fans

"I faced them two other times with my previous team, so this is the third time this year, and they've been one of the better offenses not only in the National League but in baseball this year. They've got a strong lineup one through eight and a lot of breakout guys over there, a lot of young guys that are going to have a bright future." -- Brewers reliever Jordan Lyles, on the Braves

UP NEXT
Julio Teheran will take the mound when the Braves and Brewers resume their series Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Teheran has struggled with his command, issuing at least four walks in three of his past six starts. He has a 5.10 ERA over his past 10 starts and a 4.23 ERA in 11 home starts. Milwaukee will counter with Wade Miley, who has a 2.10 ERA through his first seven starts.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Johan Camargo, Kevin Gausman, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis