Teheran pitches 6 shutout innings, Braves beat Cardinals 5-1

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Dan Winkler, right, and catcher Kurt Suzuki celebrate following the team's 5-1 win in a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, June 29, 2018, in St. Louis.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) Julio Teheran was confident he could shake off his slow start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker was not so sure.

Teheran walked the first two batters he faced and then buckled down to retire 15 of the next 16 as the Braves rolled to a 5-1 win over the Cardinals.

Teheran (6-5) allowed just two hits over six shutout innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter after issuing two free passes over his first 13 pitches.

”The (heat) was kind of bothering me a little bit at first,” Teheran said. ”Then, I started concentrating on the game. When you get your head into what you want to do, everything else is secondary.”

Snikter was initially concerned.

”The first two or three batters, I was wondering if he was going to make it through,” Snitker said. ”Then he just kind of righted himself and he was sharp, efficient. His stuff was really good.”

It marked the fifth time this season that Teheran tossed six or more scoreless innings in 16 starts.

”He threw us a bunch of strikes and just kept guys off base,” St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter said. ”He kept us off balance.”

Johan Camargo had three hits including a two-run double to help Atlanta win for only the fourth time in 13 games in St. Louis since the start of the 2016 season.

”We believe in ourselves and everything is possible,” Camargo said.

Dan Winker recorded his first major league save by retiring the only two batters he faced.

Miles Mikolas (8-3) gave up one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, who have lost two straight.

”I felt pretty good out there,” Mikolas said. ”It was tough dealing with the heat the first couple innings, but after that, I think I settled in.”

The Braves used successive singles by Camargo, Dansby Swanson and Danny Santana to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Austin Gomber relieved Mikolas and his first pitch glanced off Ender Inciarte’s helmet for a 1-0 lead.

Camargo slapped a two-run double off Jordan Hicks in the eighth to push the lead to 3-0, and Swanson capped off the three-run inning with a run-scoring single.

Swanson also had three hits, trying a season high.

Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high nine games, and later scored on Nick Markakis‘ sacrifice fly.

Kolten Wong grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as the Cardinals avoided a shutout.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Tyler Flowers left the game with a right hamstring cramp after flying out to end the sixth inning. The game-time temperature was 92 degrees, ”I did everything I could to prepare for it,” Flowers said. ”No answer.”

… OF Ronald Acuna Jr. returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 27 games with a left knee sprain. He went 0 for 4 … RHP Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee tendinitis. … RHP Matt Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Cardinals: INF Paul DeJong went 1 for 3 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday. DeJong, who has missed 38 games with a fractured bone in his left hand, is likely to be recalled on Monday. … RHP Matt Bowman also began a rehab stint on Friday in Memphis. He has been sidelined with blisters and numbness in his fingers.

UP NEXT

RHP Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) will face LHP Max Fried (0-2, 4.09) in the second of the three-game series on Saturday. Weaver struck out a season-high nine batters in an 8-2 win at Milwaukee on June 24. Fried was scratched from a scheduled start at Gwinnett on Friday.

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