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Teheran earns 10th win as Braves top Padres 5-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 26, 2014 at 11:29 pm •  Published: July 26, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Teheran enjoyed his unusual chance to shine as a hitter when he wasn't as sharp as normal on the mound.

Teheran's squeeze bunt gave Atlanta the lead and the Braves took advantage of Odrisamer Despaigne's control problems to beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Saturday night.

Teheran said the pitchers work on bunting every day, but having the pressure of having to put the ball in play as a runner took off from third base was a new challenge.

"I haven't done it in a game," Teheran said.

The bunt drove in Chris Johnson for a 3-2 lead in Atlanta's four-run fourth inning.

Freddie Freeman had three hits and an RBI, Tommy La Stella also had three hits and Johnson drove in two runs. The Braves moved to within 1 1/2 games of NL East-leading Washington, which lost 1-0 to Cincinnati.

Entering the game, Teheran (10-6) had a 1.23 ERA in 10 home starts. He wasn't as dominant against the Padres as he allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings.

Teheran had to fight through some long innings, but he didn't walk a batter while striking out five to become the first Braves pitcher to reach 10 wins.

Only 20 of Teheran's 92 pitches were balls, setting up a contrast to Despaigne (2-2), who had five walks.

Despaigne also was wild on a crucial throw to third base for an error in Atlanta's big fourth inning. The Cuban right-hander lasted only 3 2-3 innings and allowed five runs — two earned — and six hits.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Despaigne, who has an unusually large assortment of pitches and speeds, required an adjustment for Atlanta's hitters.

"This guy looks like he pitches a wiffle ball game," Gonzalez said. "He throws every pitch different angles and sometimes it's 93 (mph) and sometimes it's 64 miles per hour curve balls. But we were patient."

Seth Smith had three hits and Yasmani Grandal had a two-run double for the Padres.

Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 31st save.

Despaigne made his first start since throwing 7 2-3 no-hit innings before allowing a run in a no-decision against the Mets on July 20.

"He was trying to be a little too fine, kind of hitting the corners instead of making pitches," Grandal, the Padres' catcher, said of Despaigne.

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