Braves pitcher Julio Teheran had his no-hitter broken up with two outs in the eighth inning Wednesday against the Pirates, but the rookie still got the win after allowing one hit and striking out 11.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves still haven’t pitched a no-hitter at Turner Field, but Julio Teheran came close on Wednesday.
The rookie right-hander didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the eighth inning and struck out 11 as the Braves one-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 5-0 victory that completed a three-game series sweep.
Pinch-hitter Brandon Inge broke up the no-hitter by lining a 1-1 fastball into left field and salvaged something for the Pirates, who lost top starter Wandy Rodriguez four batters into the game with a strained forearm.
“I don’t think any team wants to get no-hit,” said Inge, who had the Pirates’ only hit in a game against Cincinnati on Friday.
But it looked like Teheran might do it as he kept Pittsburgh from even coming close to a hit.
“He just kept going on and on,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who let David Carpenter pitch the ninth after the no-hit bid was over.
Teheran, who improved to 4-2 while lowering his ERA to 3.30, walked two and hit two batters in eight innings. He threw 107 pitches, only 28 of them balls.
“He mixed up his pitches really well,” Gonzalez said.
“I felt good from the first inning,” Teheran said. “I was using more my slider. Maybe they were looking more for my two-seamer. But I didn’t use it much (Wednesday). Instead, I used my fastball and slider.”
But Inge picked on a fastball to make sure the Pirates weren’t no-hit.
“I get to basically sit and scout him for eight innings,” Inge said. “He was trying to elevate his fastball and guys were getting under it. I just tried to make sure I got on top of it. But he pitched a great game.”
Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning as the Braves (37-22) posted their sixth series sweep and improved to a major league-best 21-7 at home with a fifth straight victory. The Pirates (35-25) were swept for the second time this season and have lost five of their last six games.
The only no-hitters at Turner Field since it opened in 1997 have come against the Braves. Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game for Arizona against the Braves on May 18, 2004, and Ubaldo Jimenez no-hit them for Colorado on April 17, 2010.
The last Braves pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Kent Mercker, who did it on April 8, 1994, against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Mercker also teamed with three relievers on a combined no-hitter against San Diego on Sept. 11, 1991, at Fulton County Stadium.
Phil Niekro had the only full no-hitter by a Brave in Atlanta, doing it against San Diego on August 5, 1973.
Teheran, making his 15th major league start, retired the first 11 Pirates in order, striking out six, before Andrew McCutchen walked on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth. Russell Martin walked with two outs in the fifth and Starling Marte was hit by a pitch in the sixth before being picked off to end the inning. Teheran also hit Neil Walker with two outs in the seventh.
The Braves hit back-to-back homers for the sixth time this season with one out in the sixth off Vin Mazzaro to give Teheran a cushion. They added two runs off Jared Hughes, the fourth of five Pirates pitchers, in the seventh.
Gattis picked on a hanging 0-2 slider and sent a drive into the left field seats not far from the foul pole for his 13th homer -- one behind team leader Justin Upton.
Then Laird, playing for the first time since May 26, went deep to left field on a 2-2 fastball for his first homer of the year.
Rodriguez blanked Atlanta on one hit in seven innings in Pittsburgh on April 19, but the Braves had two hits after two batters this time and a run after a third. Four batters in, Rodriguez was out of the game.
Andrelton Simmons led off with an infield single, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Jason Heyward singled Simmons to third and he scored from there when Chris Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice.
Rodriguez then hit Freddie Freeman with his 14th pitch and immediately signaled for the trainer, pointing to his forearm.
It was the second time in four days that the Pirates lost a starter early. Jeanmar Gomez lasted just one inning against Cincinnati on Sunday and went on the disabled list with a forearm strain.
Rodriguez, who has a 3.59 ERA, took the loss to fall to 6-4.
“He caught a flight to get back to Pittsburgh to get looked at there,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He wasn’t comfortable (going longer). I completely understood.”
NOTES: The Braves dropped three of four games to the Pirates in Pittsburgh during April. … The Pirates’ 5-4 loss to the Braves in 10 innings on Tuesday night was their fourth extra-inning game in eight days. They had won the previous three, all in 11 innings. … The Braves begin a seven-day California road trip on Thursday night, facing the Dodgers in Los Angeles. RHP Tim Hudson (4-4, 4.80) will pitch for the Braves against RHP Zack Greinke (2-1, 4.80). … The Pirates are off on Thursday. They open a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday in Chicago, with LHP Francisco Liriano (3-2, 2.17) starting against LHP Travis Wood (5-3, 2.78).