By CHARLES ODUM
ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Teheran and Ronald Acuña Jr. have flourished against the Miami Marlins this season.
That success has led to continued dominance for the Braves in the NL East rivalry.
Acuña and Adeiny Hechavarría each hit a two-run homer, Teheran struck out a season-high nine and the Braves beat Miami 5-0 on Wednesday night despite being held to three hits.
Led by Teheran, the veteran right-hander, and Acuña, the 21-year-old slugger, the Braves are 14-4 against Miami this year after winning the 2018 season series between the NL East rivals 14-5.
Teheran (8-8) combined with Sean Newcomb and Josh Tomlin for a seven-hit shutout. The right-hander allowed five hits in seven innings. He improved to 3-0 with a 0.28 ERA in five starts against Miami this season.
“When you know that you’re pitching good against one team, obviously that gives you more confidence,” Teheran said. “That’s what I had coming into this game.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Teheran “has kind of shut us down all year.”
“We haven’t had any luck with him,” Mattingly said. “A guy like that or a situation like that kind of ends up in your head.”
Acuña’s shot off Caleb Smith (8-7) in the fifth cleared the center field wall. He has 16 homers against Miami in his two-year career, including nine this season.
“I think the confidence is always there,” Acuña said through a translator when asked about his success against Miami. “As long as I’m feeling good and confident I can give my best effort. That’s all I try to focus on.”
Acuña’s team-leading 36th homer came one night after he was hit by Elieser Hernandez’s first pitch, leading to the ejection of Braves manager Brian Snitker.
The first-place Braves, who had no singles or doubles, have won four straight. The last-place Marlins have dropped five in a row.
Tyler Flowers and Hechavarría provided power from the bottom of the Atlanta lineup in the second. Flowers’ triple over right fielder Brian Anderson drove in Josh Donaldson, who walked. Marlins rookie second baseman Isan Díaz dropped the relay throw from Anderson, robbing Miami of a possible play on Flowers at third base.
Hechavarría’s homer into the left field seats was his sixth of the season and first since signing with Atlanta on Friday following his release from the Mets.
Smith permitted five runs on only three hits and four walks in six innings. Two walks led to runs.
“That basically sums it up right there,” he said.
Smith led off the third with a double to left field for his first career extra-base hit. He then doubled down the right field line with one out in the fifth. Teheran has allowed 12 hits to pitchers this season, most in the majors.
Marlins: RHP Pablo López (right shoulder strain) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings for Triple-A New Orleans against Omaha as he moved closer to a return to the rotation. He gave up eight hits and no walks.
Braves: C Brian McCann was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left knee strain. C Alex Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. … SS Dansby Swanson (foot) will start a rehab assignment with Class A Rome on Thursday. … OF Austin Riley (knee) begins his rehab assignment with Rome on Friday.
Teheran rebounded nicely from the shortest start of his career. He lasted only 1 1/3 innings while allowing six runs in a loss to the New York Mets last Thursday.
“I know that I had a rough one and I needed to bounce back,” he said.
LOSING THE LONG-BALL BATTLE
The Marlins allowed a home run for the 22nd consecutive game, extending their team record. They lost despite outhitting Atlanta 7-3. Their 20 losses when having more hits than their opponent lead the majors.
RHP Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.41 ERA) will try to protect his perfect record against Miami when the Braves and Marlins complete the three-game series Thursday night. Soroka is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins. RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-11, 4.35) is scheduled to start for Miami.