Julio Teheran goes 7 innings to help Braves beat Marlins 8-4
MIAMI (AP) — The way Ronald Acuña Jr. is hitting, Julio Teheran can afford to give up an occasional run.
Acuña hit a pair of two-run homers, and Teheran extended his scoreless streak against Miami this season to 24 innings before allowing a run in the seventh to help the Atlanta Braves win 8-4 Friday.
Acuña homered for the fourth game in a row in the fifth inning, and homered again in the ninth to increase his season total to 32.
“Every time he gets to the plate we’re expecting something big,” Teheran said, “and I think he knows that.”
Teheran (7-7) pitched seven innings, struck out seven, hit a sacrifice fly and departed with a 6-1 lead. He said he stuck with the same approach he employed in his three previous outings against Miami this year.
“I executed the same plan, and there was no reason to change it,” he said. “I’ve got the confidence that I’ve been pitching good against them.”
“The key to that game is we still haven’t been able to figure out Teheran,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He has been the guy that all year long has kept us at bay.”
Teheran isn’t the only pitcher dominating the Marlins. The NL East-leading Braves improved to 11-3 this year against last-place Miami, including 7-1 at Marlins Park.
“I left some pitches over the plate that were hit kind of hard,” Smith said.
Castro went 4 for 4 with two RBIs, including a run-scoring single in Miami’s three-run eighth.
Mattingly was ejected in the fifth for arguing about a balk, and Smith was gone before the inning ended, too, after the Braves scored five runs, including Acuña’s first homer. He has seven in 13 games against Miami this year.
The 21-year-old Acuña is batting .298 with an OPS of .912 and 26 stolen bases, which is why he draws comparisons to a young Mike Trout.
“It’s absolutely a privilege for me to be compared to players like that,” the Venezuelan said through a translator. “It’s a motivator. It’s great company.”
He switched from Spanish to English to add, “I just want to play.”
Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen pitched three perfect innings with four strikeouts, which lowered his ERA to 6.24. It was 8.21 on July 14.
Braves: Before the game, they recalled RHP Patrick Weigel from Triple-A Gwinnett. He has never pitched in the majors.
Marlins RHP Drew Steckenrider (elbow), who hasn’t pitched since May 6, will undergo arthroscopic surgery and miss the rest of the season. He’s expected to be fully healthy for spring training next year.
Marlins: A crowd of nearly 30,000 is expected for University of Miami night Saturday, with RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-10, 4.50) scheduled to start. In his past six starts, Alcantara is 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.45) is scheduled to start. He has won both starts against Miami this year while allowing one earned run in 15 innings.