Atlanta's Freddie Freeman celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off single Sunday against the Reds. (Reuters)
ATLANTA -- With Johnny Cueto starting for the Cincinnati Reds against the Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran, a pitching duel was hardly unexpected Sunday.
This one, though, even exceeded expectations.
Each pitcher allowed just three hits over eight flawless innings and first baseman Freddie Freeman gave the Braves a 1-0 victory on a walk-off hit with two outs in the 10th inning, just beating a thunderstorm.
"I saw that weather coming, so I wanted to get out of here," Freeman said.
Right fielder Jason Heyward lined a single up the middle with two outs off J.J. Hoover and center fielder B.J. Upton followed with an infield single off the reliever's glove.
"I thought I had it," Hoover said. "It kind of hit a second gear and tipped off my glove."
Left-hander Manny Parra was brought into to face the left-handed hitter and Freeman smashed a one-hopper off the center field fence to give the Braves a series sweep.
"I like those opportunities with the game on the line," said Freeman, batting .344 with 17 RBIs.
Teheran, who has given up just one run over 24 innings in his last three starts, walked two and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 1.47. He threw 94 pitches before departing.
"He's hooked up against some big-time pitchers and matched them pitch for pitch," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He keeps getting better and better."
Cueto, coming off consecutive complete-game victories over the Pittsburgh Pirates, struck out 11 and walked three as he lowered his ERA to 1.15 before departing after 114 pitches.
It was the fifth career double-figure strikeout game for Cueto, who fanned a career-high 12 in his three-hit shutout of the Pirates on April 16. He has allowed just one run over his last 30 innings.
"It was a great game. We both competed," Cueto said through a translator.
Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected in the bottom of the first inning for questioning a video review that let stand a safe call at first base on a pickoff attempt against Upton.
Price, who lost his challenge for the game, came onto the infield pointing at the stadium video board to get an explanation from crew chief Bill Miller after the review in New York was ruled inconclusive.
"You have the biggest Jumbotron in the country out there in center field that would strongly suggest the runner was out on the pickoff, and then to say he's not -- it seems to contradict what everyone in the ballpark thought was an out. I didn't get it, it didn't make any sense to me."
The video review took just under two minutes and the argument that followed a little longer as first-year manager Price was tossed for the first time.
"You know umpires on the field, they don't have any say, they just listen and wait for whatever decision is made out of New York," Price said.
Also ejected was pitcher Homer Bailey, the loser in Friday night's series opener, for yelling from the dugout.
The Braves felt that they might have received a break. "I thought they had a nice appeal," Gonzalez admitted. "You just never know."
NOTES: RHP Alfredo Simon, who is 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA, will face the Chicago Cubs on Monday night as the Reds return home for a week-long homestand. It will be Simon's first start since a $15 million civil suit was filed against him in Washington, D.C., by a woman claiming that she was sexually assaulted in April of 2013 during a Reds' road trip to play the Nationals. ... The Braves had a 4-3 series edge over the Reds last season, including a split of a four-game series at Turner Field. ... The Braves, who were off on Thursday after playing 16 consecutive days, get a break again Monday before beginning a three-game series at Miami on Tuesday night. The opener is a rematch of last Tuesday, when Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (3-1, 1.99 ERA) struck out 14 in a 1-0 victory in Atlanta. LHP Alex Wood (2-3, 1.54) fanned 11 for the Braves.