MLB

Braves beats Diamondbacks behind Teheran, Simmons

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The Canadian Press
6/29/2013 12:01:30 AM
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ATLANTA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez didn't want his team to have any hiccups following Chipper Jones' big celebration at Turner Field.

Julio Teheran pitched six strong innings, Andrelton Simmons homered and Atlanta beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 on Friday night.

"It was a good overall night on a very memorable night with Chipper getting his number retired," Gonzalez said. "We ran the bases well, executed some things offensively and hopefully it carries on the rest of the weekend."

The Braves, who have won three of four and lead second-place Washington by 5 1/2 games in the NL East, retired former All-Star third baseman Jones' jersey number before the game.

Teheran (6-4) allowed four hits, one walk and struck out 10 -- the same number Jones wore in 19 years with the Braves.

Teheran wanted to pitch well in front of a near capacity crowd. He also was eager to do his best in a matchup against his close friend Randall Delgado, the Arizona starting pitcher who came up through the Braves' minor league system with Teheran before getting traded away in January.

"From the minor leagues, we've been together, so I was pretty excited, but I wasn't trying to think about it," Teheran said. "I wanted to treat the game like any other and try to compete and do my best."

The NL West-leading Diamondbacks have lost three of four. They were shut out for the first time since losing 5-0 at San Francisco on Sept. 26, a span of 85 games. Arizona starting pitchers are 0-8 in 20 starts since Wade Miley won at St. Louis on June 5.

Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 23rd save in 26 chances in the ninth. After Aaron Hill grounded out, Kimbrel walked Paul Goldschmidt and then Miguel Montero grounded into a double play.

The Braves went up 1-0 in the first when Jason Heyward doubled and scored from second on Justin Upton's RBI single. Delgado avoided further damage with two runners in scoring position by striking out Dan Uggla.

Teheran stranded runners in scoring position in the first by strikingout Goldschmidt and Montero, and in the third by striking out Gerardo Parra and getting Hill to hit a grounder.

Teheran, whose night ended when Tyler Pastornicky pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the sixth, has a 0.98 ERA in winning two of his last three starts.

Luis Avilan, the second Atlanta pitcher, threw five straight balls before Jason Kubel hit into a forceout and Cody Ross grounded into a double play.

Avilan retired the four batters he faced before Jordan Walden got the last two outs of the eighth.

Delgado (0-2) gave up eight hits, two runs and three walks. He struck out three and threw 64 of 106 pitches for strikes.

Delgado, whom Atlanta dealt with Martin Prado to Arizona in the trade that brought Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to the Braves, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth when Teheran grounded into a double play.

"This used to be my team, the crowd and everything," Delgado said. "I just tried to do like a normal game. You have to think about making good pitches. I just tried to follow (catcher) Montero and keep the ball down. And the guys did a good job with double plays and all that."

Atlanta made it 2-0 in the fifth when Simmons' sixth homer landed in the left-field seats.

Parra, Goldschmidt, Montero, Kubel and Ross were a combined 0 for 16 with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

Zeke Spruill, the fourth Arizona pitcher, gave up a leadoff triple in the eighth to Uggla, who scored on pinch-hitter Reed Johnson's pinch-hit RBI bunt single to give the Braves a 3-0 lead.

Uggla, after sitting on stage next to Jones and speaking to the crowd during the pregame ceremony, was embarrassed to strike out with runners in scoring position in the first.

His base running in the eighth helped him end the night on a positive note to help the Braves win for Jones.

"He's one of the great ones," Uggla said. "We're very thankful we had the opportunity to play with him. He's one of the guys that we're going to be able to tell our grandkids that we got to play with or against. He's a special dude, and I was extremely humbled."

NOTES: Arizona reinstated 3B Eric Chavez from the 15-day disabled list and designated INF Eric Hinske for assignment. Chavez had been on the DL since straining his right oblique on May 30 against Texas. ... Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said that RHP J.J. Putz is likely to be activated before Saturday's game. ... The Diamondbacks optioned Spruill to the minors after the game. ... The Braves improved to 42-9 when they hit a homer. ... Atlanta INF Ramiro Pena had season-ending surgery to repair a tear in the back of his right shoulder. Pena, a three-year veteran in his first season with the Braves, will be out until the start of spring training next year. ... Arizona hitting coach Don Baylor, who held the same role with Atlanta when Jones won his NL MVP award in 1999, celebrated his 64th birthday on Friday. ... The Braves announced a sellout of 48,282, though several hundred seats were empty.

Braves celebrate (Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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