Bucs’ defeat is painful
ATLANTA – The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost three straight and five of six and suddenly have to worry about the status of Wandy Rodriguez.
Manager Clint Hurdle said it’s a good time to remember that even after being swept by Atlanta, Pittsburgh is in good position in the NL Central.
Rodriguez recorded only one out before leaving the game with an injury as Pittsburgh, held without a hit for 7 2/3 innings, lost to Julio Teheran and the Braves 5-0 on Wednesday. The Pirates finished with one hit.
“With everything that’s gone on, we’re going to walk out of here and we’re 10 games over .500,” Hurdle said. “We’ve just got to continue to keep playing.”
Now the big question is Rodriguez’s health.
Rodriguez (6-4) left the game with tightness in his left forearm. The left-hander pointed to his forearm when visited by Hurdle and a trainer. After a brief discussion on the mound, Rodriguez was removed from the game.
Instead of accompanying the team to Chicago for a series against the Cubs, Rodriguez returned to Pittsburgh to be examined.
It was the second time in four days a Pirates starter lasted no longer than an inning. Jeanmar Gomez left Sunday’s start against the Reds after one inning and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed and strained right forearm.
“Adversity’s going to knock on your door throughout the season,” Hurdle said.
Rodriguez gave up two hits and a run and hit Freddie Freeman with his 14th and final pitch.
Teheran combined with David Carpenter for a one-hit shutout.
Pinch-hitter Brandon Inge broke up Teheran’s no-hit bid by hitting a fastball for a single to left field with two outs in the eighth.
“The thing is, for someone like me sitting across on the other side, sitting for eight innings, I basically get to scout him for eight innings,” Inge said.
“I couldn’t see exactly what he was throwing, but I could see what he was getting guys out with. It was just a great game he pitched. … I tip my hat to him. He did an excellent job. Handled it well, too.”
Teheran, only 22, took another big step in his breakthrough season. Tehran (4-2) gave up one hit with two walks and set a career high with 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
“They played better than us,” Hurdle said. “That’s one thing I think where you’ve got to come to a certain point in time where you just tip your hat and say they played better than us. You don’t have to like it. But you acknowledge it and move on.”
Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird hit back-to-back homers in the sixth.
Bryan Morris replaced Rodriguez and gave up no runs on three walks in 3 2-3 innings.
Teheran didn’t allow a baserunner until Russell Martin walked with two outs in the fifth. Clint Barmes then popped out to end the inning.
Teheran hit Starling Marte with a pitch with one out in the sixth but ended the inning by catching Marte with his pickoff throw to first base.
Gattis gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead by hitting an 0-2 pitch from Vin Mazzaro about halfway up the lower section of left-field seats for his 13th homer, easily the most for any rookie in the majors. Laird followed with his first homer, also to left field.
The Braves added a run off Jared Hughes in the seventh. Jason Heyward and Chris Johnson had singles, and Heyward scored from second base when Freeman hit a fielder’s choice grounder to first base. Johnson was out on Garrett Jones’ throw to second, but Hughes missed Barmes’ throw to first for an error.
Hughes loaded the bases by walking Gattis and hitting Laird with a pitch. Dan Uggla’s fly ball to shallow center fell off the glove of a charging Andrew McCutchen, allowing Freeman to score for a 5-0 lead.