Braves’ bats suffer Opening Day shutout
by Genaro C. Armas
Associated Press Sports Writer
March 31, 2014 11:48 PM | 1488 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta's Julio Teheran pitched six innings, scattered seven hits and allowed two runs but still suffered a 2-0 loss to Milwaukee on Monday.
Atlanta's Julio Teheran pitched six innings, scattered seven hits and allowed two runs but still suffered a 2-0 loss to Milwaukee on Monday.
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MILWAUKEE — In losing their season opener, the Atlanta Braves got a different kind of win to earn a place in the replay record book.

Julio Teheran pitched six effective innings and allowed two runs in his first opening day start, but was tagged with a loss after Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo shut down the Braves in a 2-0 victory Monday.

Still, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez can add a new bullet point to his resume after getting the first call overturned under baseball’s expanded replay system. Gonzalez challenged Ryan Braun’s infield single under Major League Baseball’s new replay format.

“They got the play right. That’s the bottom line,” Gonzalez said.

The review of the play leading off the sixth took 58 seconds, though Gonzalez said it felt like it was 10 or 15 minutes. The skipper said he was going to a replay of the replay play to time the decision.

Still, he was pleased overall. “Today, at the end of the day, they got the play right.”

It was a memorable day for other reasons for Braun, who drew a standing ovation in his return from a drug suspension. Braun went 1 for 4 and stole a base in the fourth inning that helped set up a two-run double by Aramis Ramirez.

A smattering of boos during Braun’s first at-bat was easily drowned out by the overwhelming applause. The former MVP was suspended for the final 65 games last year in the Biogenesis doping scandal.

Two years ago, Braun became the first MLB player to get a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs overturned. Originally banned for 50 games, he filed a grievance and won.

“It was special. It was an emotional moment for me,” Braun said of the ovation.

Played his first game in right field, too. To top off this day, Braun will go down as the hitter involved in the first call overturned by replay.

“I had a pretty good idea that I was out,” Braun said, drawing laughs. “For all of us, we just hope they get it right, and they did get it right.”

Gallardo (1-0) tossed six shutout innings for the win. Teheran (0-1) had two strikeouts in drawing the starting assignment in the opener following injuries to pitchers including Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy.

“For his first start, for his first opening day, I thought he did a terrific job,” Gonzalez said.

Atlanta hoped its potentially potent lineup could overcome the adversity.

Not on Monday against Gallardo. The righty did run into a little trouble with his control in the fifth after Andrelton Simmons singled and Jason Heyward walked with two outs to put runners at first and second for B.J. Upton.

But Upton, who struggled last season with a .184 average in 126 games, struck out.

Simmons finished with two hits.

“You go up there, your third at-bat and (Gallardo) will throw you something completely different,” said cleanup hitter Chris Johnson, who went 1 for 4 with a double. “Where did that come from? ... He’s one of the tougher guys in the league.”

But all eyes in Miller Park were on Braun to start after the 2011 NL MVP played his first game since July 21. He was banned the next day.

It seemed like all was forgiven for most of the 45,000-plus fans in attendance.

Francisco Rodriguez struck out two in the ninth for his 305th career save.

NOTES: A trio of Wisconsin-born Olympians from the 2014 Winter Games in Russia threw out the ceremonial first pitches: Brianna Decker and Jessica Vetter were each members of the U.S. women’s hockey team that won silver, while Matt Antoine won the bronze in the skeleton competition. ... Injured RHP Gavin Floyd and LHP Mike Minor are on the same rehab program in the minors for the Braves. Both are scheduled to throw Thursday and then go every fifth day barring any setbacks. The Braves plan to shuffle them between Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi. With four strikeouts, Gallardo assumed sole possession of second place on the team’s career strikeout list with 1,084. Ben Sheets is first with 1,206 strikeouts. ... Atlanta LH Alex Wood and Milwaukee RH Kyle Lohse are the probable starters for Tuesday’s game.

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