Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/31/13
When Elliot Johnson doubled and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer before the second out of the first inning Friday night Braves fans might have wondered what all the fuss was about over Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez. Fernandez settled in and gave everyone a good idea why he’s a frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year. But Atlanta’s own top rookie Julio Teheran won the pitching duel and the Braves beat the Marlins 2-1 at Turner Field to push their winning streak to five games and cut their magic number to 15. “I was excited” said Teheran (11-7) who allowed one run four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 6-1/3 innings. “I tried to do my best and show everybody what I can do.” Any combination of Braves wins and Nationals losses totaling 15 will clinch the Braves’ first National League East division title since 2005. Atlanta improved its majors-leading records to 82-52 overall and 48-18 at home including 17-3 with a 2.15 ERA in the past 20 home games. Teheran retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and improved to 4-2 with a 2.23 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. With closer Craig Kimbrel resting after closing the the previous three wins Anthony Varvaro pitched two innings including a perfect ninth for his first save. Varvaro gave up a leadoff single to Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth but Stanton was out at second base on a strong throw by right fielder Jordan Schafer when Stanton tried to advance on Justin Ruggiano’s fly out. “I definitely knew that it was a save situation but I looked at it as any other outing” Varvaro said. “It just means that we’re one step closer to a playoff berth. It’s cool and all to get into the books but I’m just looking at it as a team win. As long as we keep on collecting them we’ll be able to reach our ultimate goal.” Teheran gave up a run after Fernandez’s leadoff triple in a 32-pitch two-hit two-walk third inning. But after Placido Polanco lined out to center to leave the bases loaded in the third Teheran took control. The only Miami batter to reach base against him the rest of the way was Logan Morrison on a sixth-inning walk. When he was replaced in the seventh inning Teheran got a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout after Jeff Mathis popped out on his 98th pitch. “The two young kids Teheran and Fernandez they both pitched outstanding” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “They both had tough innings. Julio the third and I don’t remember if it was the fourth or fifth for Fernandez but they both pitched really well. I was really surprised for both guys the composure for being young. In those jams they didn’t rattle. I’ve got a feeling that those two guys are going to match up for a lot of games in the future.” Fernandez was charged with three hits two runs and two walks with eight strikeouts in six innings in his first start against the Braves.
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