Julio Teheran simply owned the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, striking out 10 batters on the same night the Atlanta Braves retired no. 10 in honor of Chipper Jones at Turner Field. The Bravos came out with a 3-0 win in front of a sellout crowd of 48,282.
Just after the Braves retired old no. 10 for good, Teheran allowed just four hits over six shutout innings, striking out the side in the sixth to reach that 10th strikeout. He only need 13 pitches to fan Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero to accomplish the task in the sixth.
"The first three innings, it was a little bit hot, I was sweating a lot, so it was difficult for me," Teheran said on braves.com. "But at the end, the last inning I was trying to get 10 K's — Chipper Jones' number."
Particularly astounding is the fact that Goldschmidt entered as the National League's RBI leader and had gone 6-for-11 with four doubles a homer against the Braves in their first three games last month. Teheran rendered him useless to the Dbacks offense to the tune of an 0-for-3 night with two strikeouts.
"That was a hitter that I was trying to be careful," Teheran said. "I know I couldn't make a mistake with him."
He may not have said it, but Teheran's performance may have at least partially been related to the fact that he was facing former Braves prospect Randall Delgado, who was shipped to Arizona along with Martin Prado, Zeke Spruill and two other prospects in exchange for Chris Johnson and Justin Upton in the offseason.
The Braves jumped on Delgado early when Jason Heyward pounded a ground-rule double to the left-center field gap in the first inning, which Justin Upton followed with an RBI-single. Andrelton Simmons capped the damage done to Delgado with a lead-off homer in the fifth.
All told, the Braves walked and struck out five times each, three of those from Delgado. That seems to be a tall feat for a team that has the second highest strikeout total in the Major Leagues.
Dan Uggla, who spoke on the players' behalf during Chipper's ceremony, helped the Braves score an insurance run in the eighth when he started the inning with a triple to finally push his average to .202. He would score on Reed Johnson's squeeze bunt and is hitting .271 over his last 21 games.
"I feel like I'm hitting .300," Uggla said. "I've been finding holes and having better at-bats. Things are going in the right direction. It was tough for whatever reason to get above .200. But now, I'm going to reset my goals and try to keep going in the right direction."
Craig Kimbrel induced a double play from Montero to clinch his 23rd save of the season and the Diamondbacks' first shutout loss of the season. They were the last team in baseball to be shutout this season.
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