Three Cuts: Terdoslavich’s first career homer lifts Braves past Padres
ATLANTA — One night after a win slipped away due to his throwing error, Jason Grilli walked away pumping his fist, another save in hand.
But it wasn’t without its drama.
With the Braves up 6-5 Tuesday night, their closer allowed a one-out double to the Padres’ Yonder Alonso and after moving one out from victory, he threw a wild pitch to put the tying run on third before walking Cory Spangenberg.
Grilli bounced back, striking out Clint Barmes to give Atlanta its second win in the last seven games.
From Joey Terdoslavich’s big moment to Nick Markakis’ domination of James Shields and more, taking three cuts from Turner Field.
Joey Terdoslavich couldn’t help but smile as he stood in front of his locker.
"I told Shelby (Miller) it felt like the coolest thing I’ve ever done."
Terdoslavich drove a 2-0 four-seam fastball from Joaquin Benoit over the right-center field wall in the eighth inning for the first home run of his career to complete a Braves rally from five down. But it wasn’t until first base coach Terry Pendleton was there to great him that he realized he had hit it out.
"He wouldn’t be meeting me over there if it was off the wall," Terdoslavich said. "That’s when I knew. I didn’t even see it go out."
There was a good chance Terdoslavich was going to make the Braves coming out of spring training with a spot available in the outfield, but a wrist injury suffered while turning an unassisted double play at third base from first base (http://m.mlb.com/news/article/114639878/utility-man-joey-terdoslavich-injures-left-hand-on-unassisted-double-play) ended that.
Back in Atlanta after being promoted Friday, Terdoslavich was still searching for his first MLB hit since Aug. 20, 2013 when the pinch hitter came up in the bottom of the eighth.
But he became the second Braves player in four days to provide a decisive run with his first career HR as Christian Bethancourt hit one of the walk-off variety on Saturday vs. the Pirates. Add in Jace Peterson’s grand slam for his first home run and Braves rookies have supplied plenty of drama with those breakthrough blasts.
Terdoslavich’s dad was in attendance and afterward, the Brave said he was texting with him and said his father told him he was "still shaking."
Despite his key moment, Terdoslavich’s immediate future remains in doubt. Before the game manager Fredi Gonzalez said Kelly Johnson could return as early as Wednesday. Terdoslavich could potentially be the odd man out and on his way back to Triple-A Gwinnett.
As former American League East rivals — Nick Markakis with the Orioles and James Shields with the Rays — the two have a long history.
The right fielder’s 85 plate appearances vs. Shields heading into Tuesday are third-most against him, with only ex-Yankees Derek Jeter (103) and Robinson Cano (92) facing him more times, and Markakis has dominated those meetings.
Hitting 23 of 74 (.311) with six doubles, two home runs, eight RBI and 11 walks, Markakis continued that narrative with the two meeting for the first time in 2015.
Markakis singled in his first two at-bats, then provided the Braves’ first run with an RBI as he reached on a fielding error by Spangenberg.
Atlanta would tie things up after Markakis provided that first run with Andrelton Simmons hitting a three-run double and Jonny Gomes provided an RBI single (both of which came with replay drama as the Braves won a challenge with a Juan Uribe slide and the Padres lost one with Simmons’ run a pitch later).
He’s now hitting .324 against him overall and since 2010, that figure sits at .363 with an on-base percentage of .447. That’s the second-best of anyone vs. Shields, trailing only the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus (.457).
In Will Venable’s first at-bat he lined a single to right field. Two innings later the Padres center fielder sent another pitcher to right, this time an 81-mph slider, for a solo home run. Then, in the sixth, he added an RBI double.
Coming off an outing in Arizona in which he tied season highs for runs (five) and hits (eight), Foltynewicz again struggled to find any consistency. He gave up 12 hits and five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.
It was Venable that did the loudest damage as Foltynewicz struck out just two. That’s his fewest number of Ks since his May 1 debut vs. the Reds, with the right-hander fanning no less than five over his six starts before Tuesday night.
Failing to retire the Padres in order through the first five innings, Foltynewicz appeared on the verge of doing so in the sixth. But he allowed a two-out single to Shields and Venable and Derek Norris followed with one-run doubles to break open the game and end Foltynewicz’s night.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney