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Julio Teheran was confident he could shake off his slow start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker was not so sure.
Teheran walked the first two batters he faced and then buckled down to retire 15 of the next 16 as the Braves rolled to a 5-1 win over the Cardinals.
Teheran (6-5) allowed just two hits over six shutout innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter after issuing two free passes over his first 13 pitches.
”The (heat) was kind of bothering me a little bit at first [url=http://www.chargerscheapstore.com/derwin-james-jersey-cheap]Cheap Derwin James Jersey[/url] ,” Teheran said. ”Then, I started concentrating on the game. When you get your head into what you want to do, everything else is secondary.”
Snikter was initially concerned.
”The first two or three batters, I was wondering if he was going to make it through,” Snitker said. ”Then he just kind of righted himself and he was sharp, efficient. His stuff was really good.”
It marked the fifth time this season that Teheran tossed six or more scoreless innings in 16 starts.
”He threw us a bunch of strikes and just kept guys off base,” St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter said. ”He kept us off balance.”
Johan Camargo had three hits including a two-run double to help Atlanta win for only the fourth time in 13 games in St. Louis since the start of the 2016 season.
”We believe in ourselves and everything is possible,” Camargo said.
Dan Winker recorded his first major league save by retiring the only two batters he faced.
Miles Mikolas (8-3) gave up one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, who have lost two straight.
”I felt pretty good out there,” Mikolas said. ”It was tough dealing with the heat the first couple innings, but after that, I think I settled in.”
The Braves used successive singles by Camargo, Dansby Swanson and Danny Santana to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Austin Gomber relieved Mikolas and his first pitch glanced off Ender Inciarte’s helmet for a 1-0 lead.
Camargo slapped a two-run double off Jordan Hicks in the eighth to push the lead to 3-0, and Swanson capped off the three-run inning with a run-scoring single.
Swanson also had three hits, trying a season high.
Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high nine games, and later scored on Nick Markakis‘ sacrifice fly.
Kolten Wong grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as the Cardinals avoided a shutout.
Braves: C Tyler Flowers left the game with a right hamstring cramp after flying out to end the sixth inning. The game-time temperature was 92 degrees [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/isaiah-wynn-jersey-cheap]Isaiah Wynn Jersey[/url] , ”I did everything I could to prepare for it,” Flowers said. ”No answer.”
… OF Ronald Acuna Jr. returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 27 games with a left knee sprain. He went 0 for 4 … RHP Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee tendinitis. … RHP Matt Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Cardinals: INF Paul DeJong went 1 for 3 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday. DeJong, who has missed 38 games with a fractured bone in his left hand, is likely to be recalled on Monday. … RHP Matt Bowman also began a rehab stint on Friday in Memphis. He has been sidelined with blisters and numbness in his fingers.
RHP Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) will face LHP Max Fried (0-2, 4.09) in the second of the three-game series on Saturday. Weaver struck out a season-high nine batters in an 8-2 win at Milwaukee on June 24. Fried was scratched from a scheduled start at Gwinnett on Friday.
LeBron James laughed as he came around the backstage partition after arriving fashionably late for his crowded, post-practice news conference.
As he stepped onto the podium, back among friendly faces and in the building where he has done some of his finest work, James seemed at ease, almost content. No signs of stress anywhere.
Moments later, his demeanor shifted.
A few reminders about his team’s urgent predicament against Golden State, questions about President Donald Trump and another review of Cleveland’s heartbreaking loss in Oakland swung his emotions.
”I know it feels like we’re down 2-0, and I don’t like the way I feel,” James said. ”I don’t like the mood that I’m in right now. There’s no, like, `OK [url=http://www.clevelandbrownsteamonline.com/denzel-ward-jersey]Denzel Ward Jersey Elite[/url] , you’re down 2-0 and you feel better than when you’re down 2-0 before.’ When you’re down like this, in a deficit like this – versus a team like this – there’s no good feeling. So I don’t feel good about it.”
The Cavaliers may be in a dark place.
For the third time in the past four Finals, James and his teammates enter Game 3 against the Warriors in a win-or-make-summer-vacation-plans situation. After they wasted a 51-point effort by James – with a reversed official’s call, missed free throw by George Hill and bone-headed move from J.R. Smith – and let Game 1 slip away in overtime , and following Stephen Curry’s 3-point barrage in Game 2 , the Cavs are faced with the reality that their season, strange as it has been to this point, is in serious jeopardy.
However, coach Tyronn Lue, who plans to give disappointing forward Rodney Hood playing time on Wednesday night, feels his team can change the complexion of this series.
”We’re very confident we can do that,” Lue said. ”The guys are engaged and locked in. Winning tomorrow is a step forward, but then going out with Game 4 also. We’re locked into doing that, and we know we can.
It’s easy to understand Lue’s confidence. After what the Cavaliers have experienced this season, a 2-0 deficit in the Finals against a star-studded Warriors squad on the cusp of being stamped as a modern-day dynasty seems manageable.
Cleveland has endured injuries, trades [url=http://www.sanfrancisco49ersteamonline.com/reuben-foster-jersey]Reuben Foster 49ers Jersey[/url] , tragedy and drama for months. The Cavs, who climbed from a 2-0 hole to beat Boston in the conference finals, have major roster holes and unfixable flaws. There’s no denying their toughness.
”We’ve been very persistent and very resilient throughout this whole season, no matter what has been going on,” James said. ”We have an opportunity to come home and protect home, as Golden State has done. It’s a very tall task. A very tough challenge going against these guys, going against this team.”
Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead are 29-4 in the Finals, but the Warriors know better than to be overconfident. They’ve learned the hard way.
Golden State held a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Finals before the Cavs rallied to win three straight and dethrone the Dubs. And last year, the Warriors trailed by six with 3:09 left before storming back to win 118-113 in Game 3.
Cleveland has won eight straight playoff games at Quicken Loans Arena, which may be louder than ever with hometown fans still frothing from some calls that went against the Cavaliers in the Bay Area last week.
Just the sight of Warriors forward Draymond Green should be enough to push the decibel readings inside the building to unsafe levels.
”I don’t really think about being up 2-0 because the series could turn so fast,” Warriors star Kevin Durant said. ”It’s a great position to be in. I don’t want to take that for granted; don’t get me wrong. But the job is not done, and you can’t relax or be comfortable when you’re still trying to win this thing. We know coming on the road is going to be tougher.”
The Warriors may have Andre Iguodala back for the first time in the series.
One of the team’s best defenders, Iguodala has missed six straight games with a left knee injury suffered in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. Coach Steve Kerr said the 34-year-old has improved.
”He’s getting closer, and I’m hopeful that he can play,” Kerr said. ”If not tomorrow, then in Game 4.”
While Kerr looked forward [url=http://www.cincinnatibengalsteamonline.com/mark-walton-jersey]Mark Walton Jersey[/url] , James was forced to take another glance back at Game 1.
On Sunday, uncut TV footage showed James uncomfortably sitting on Cleveland’s bench next to Smith, who inexplicably dribbled out the final seconds of regulation. James was shown asking Lue if the team had any timeouts and then reacting as if he had been punched in the stomach when he learned the Cavs could have stopped the clock.
”Damn cameras,” James joked when asked about the video. ”I finally got Game 1 out of my head. You’re taking me back, huh?”
James, who is averaging 40 points, 10.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds in two games, abstains from social media during the postseason. He was unaware the video went viral or that he’s being criticized for not inspiring his teammates.
”Me being criticized? I don’t believe that,” he said sarcastically. ”I don’t care at all. I mean, we’re in the NBA Finals. How much more picking up of teammates do you want me to do?”
This story has been corrected to show that the Cavaliers won three, not four, straight games to win the NBA Finals in 2016.
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