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Baseball
Mets rock Teheran, whip Braves 8-3
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Mets rock Teheran, whip Braves 8-3

Mets rock Teheran, whip Braves 8-3
Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran (49) flips his cap off his head as he walks off the field after giving up three runs to the New York Mets in the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Mets rock Teheran, whip Braves 8-3

NEW YORK – Two days after Julio Teheran was named a first-time National League All-Star, the Braves ace got whacked by the Mets and outpitched by a rookie who mowed down Atlanta hitters whenever they threatened to score.

Teheran (8-6) gave up five runs and a career-high 11 hits in just 3 1/3 innings of an 8-3 loss Tuesday night at Citi Field, the third consecutive defeat for the Braves since a nine-game winning streak. They dropped back into a tie for first place in the National League East with the Nationals, whose game was rained out.

Teheran’s outing matched a May 14 start at San Francisco as the shortest of his career.

Meanwhile, Mets counterpart Jacob deGrom (2-5) matched a career best with 11 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings and allowed seven hits and no walks. Braves hitters were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and have gone 5-for-31 in those situations during the three-game skid.

Their only hits with runners in scoring position Tuesday were Jason Heyward’s eighth-inning single, and singles by B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman in the ninth, with Freeman’s driving in two runs. Heyward and Upton had three hits apiece.

All of Teheran’s worst performances this season have come on the road, where he’s 5-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 10 starts. He’s 3-1 with a majors-best 1.23 ERA in nine home starts.

After throwing a three-hit, nine-inning shutout at Philadelphia on April 16 – the only regular-season shutout by a visiting pitcher since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004 – Teheran has gone 3-4 with a 5.23 ERA in his past seven road starts and allowed 51 hits in 41 1/3 innings.

During that same period he has a 3-1 record and 1.05 ERA in eight home starts, with only 31 hits allowed in 60 innings.

He gave up a career-high 10 hits three times in 52 career starts before Tuesday – twice against the Nationals and on June 11 at Coors Field, when he was charged with seven runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Before Tuesday, the only time Teheran lasted fewer than five innings since the beginning of the 2013 season was May 14 at San Francisco, when he surrendered seven hits, five runs (four earned) and a career-high five walks in 3 1/3 innings. He complained of having trouble gripping the ball that day, much as he had in some other West Coast games.

Teheran thinks the drier air in California must be a factor in that situation. That certainly wasn’t an issue Tuesday on a warm, humid night at Citi Field, where the Mets were all over him from the outset.

He gave up a first-inning leadoff homer to Curtis Granderson, who also hit the game-tying eighth-inning homer off reliever Luis Avilan in Monday’s series opener, which the Mets won 4-3 in 11 innings.

Granderson hit a leadoff homer against the Braves’ Alex Wood on June 30 and has four homers in the past five games against the Braves.

The Mets got three runs in the second inning on five hits including Daniel Murphy’s two-run double, and another run on three hits in the third. Teheran was replaced after giving up a single and walk to the second and third batters of the fourth inning, and David Hale pitched the next 2 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and a run.

The Braves wasted a scoring opportunity after a leadoff single by B.J. Upton in the first inning, then wasted another after a leadoff single by Heyward in the second inning. In each case the next two batters struck out – Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman in the first inning, and Chris Johnson and Tommy La Stella in the second.

Heyward stole second and third before Christian Bethancourt struck out to end the second inning, the third consecutive strikeout in the inning for deGrom, who did that again when he struck out the side in the fifth. The rookie had 10 strikeouts through five innings, one shy of his best in 10 previous starts.

DeGrom matched that career-high when he struck out pinch-hitter Dan Uggla looking to end the seventh inning with a runner at second base.

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