It was Andrelton Simmons whose would-be pop-fly single drew a questionable infield fly ruling in the Braves’ Wild Card game loss to St. Louis in October when they had two runners on base and one out in the eighth and the Cardinals led 6-3. In the eighth inning Saturday it was Simmons’ two-out two-run double that lifted the Braves to a 2-0 win against the Cardinals in front of a crowd of 48312 at Turner Field clinching the first series between the teams since that controversial game in October. “They’re a great team” Simmons said. “They got us last year in a pretty big game and we owe them some. It’s good to see the team beating them.” Braves rookie Julio Teheran got no decision but pitched brilliantly against the National League’s best lineup allowing two hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings and retiring 19 of the last 20 batters he faced. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I got it in my mind to just work hard” he said. “All my pitches were working good. The command I had today that’s the best I’ve had this year.” Relievers Luis Avilan (3-0) and Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect inning apiece to complete the two-hit shutout with Kimbrel notching his 30th save to join John Smoltz as the only Braves pitchers with three 30-save seasons. In the Braves’ 2-1 win in Friday’s series opener Mike Minor allowed four hits one run and one walk in seven innings. “Very effective” Cardinals third baseman David Freese said of the Braves’ starting pitchers. “It’s not about how hard you throw. It’s can you locate and mix your pitches? And the past two days they’ve done that extremely well and shut down a very good offense. They get on that mound and have an idea what they want to do.” In two games Braves pitchers allowed only six hits one run and two walks with 15 strikeouts against a Cardinals team that began Saturday ranked first in the NL in batting average runs hits on-base percentage and fewest strikeouts.
Simmons’ double lifts Braves past Cardinals
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 28