Andrelton Simmons' first two plate appearances of today's game came with runners in scoring position, but he failed to bring a runner home either time.
Presented with another chance in that same situation in the eighth inning, Simmons finally came through, smoking a two-run double that brought home Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. Craig Kimbrel slammed the door in the ninth to seal the win and record his 30th save of the season.
While it took Atlanta's offense a while to break through, St. Louis' National League leading offense never had a chance to do so thanks to a dominant performance from right-hander Julio Teheran. One day after Mike Minor handcuffed the Cardinals through seven innings, Teheran did the same thing while allowing just two hits and striking out six. He recorded nine whiffs on 86 pitches, including five on his four-seam fastball that sat 93 and touched 95 this afternoon.
St. Louis' starter Joe Kelly gave up seven hits, three walks and allowed a base runner in all but one inning, but managed to escape trouble every time before leaving in the bottom of the seventh inning. He finished with a line of 6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
Luis Avilan pitched a scoreless eighth inning, stretching his scoreless streak to 26 appearances and 23.1 innings pitched. The Braves go for the series sweep tomorrow night at 8:05 PM ET on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Win expectancy chart:
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-07-27&team=Braves&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2013-07-27&team=Braves&dh=0&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>