Tuesday October 6th, 2015 10:57AM

Smith earns 1st career win, Padres beat Braves

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Burch Smith is learning how to pitch without trying to strike out every batter he faces.

"It's funny how it works," he said. "I get the most when I'm not trying to strike guys out. I just try to keep it simple, just execute the pitch."

Smith struck out 10 in seven innings to earn his first major league victory, Chase Headley and Tommy Medica homered, and the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 Sunday.

The Braves lead the NL East by 10 games over Washington. Atlanta opens a three-game series at Nationals Park on Monday night, and can clinch the division by winning twice there.

Smith (1-1) held the Braves hitless until pitcher Julio Teheran singled to lead off the sixth.

Smith allowed three hits and walked two. The rookie made his fifth career start - he had a 12.41 ERA in his previous starts. He struck out seven of the first 13 Atlanta batters and credited catcher Nick Hundley with calling a good game.

"We had a pretty good rhythm going," Smith said. "Actually the only time I shook him off was that first hit off the pitcher. I probably shouldn't have done that."

Teheran (12-8) gave up seven hits, four runs, no walks and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings. Manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled him with two outs in the seventh after Burch bunted into a forceout.

Jedd Gyorko's RBI single and Headley's 13th homer in the sixth gave the Padres a 3-0 lead.

Medica, who homered off Philadelphia's Cliff Lee last Wednesday for his first career hit, led off the seventh with his second homer to make it 4-0.

Even though the slider he threw to Headley landed in the right-field seats, Teheran didn't regret the pitch selection.

"Yeah that was the pitch that I wanted to throw," Teheran said. "I asked him also if it was a good pitch (as Teheran stood at third base in the bottom half of the inning), and he told me that it was a good pitch. I said, `OK, you got me this time.' "

After Teheran left, reliever Scott Downs gave up a double to Will Venable that advanced Burch to third. After pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia walked to load the bases, Downs struck out Gyorko to end the threat.

Smith retired the first 11 batters before Freddie Freeman walked in the fourth. Freeman moved to second when Smith made a wild pickoff throw, but Evan Gattis struck out.

Padres closer Huston Street pitched the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single to Freeman before retiring the next three batters.

Teheran had retired 14 straight batters before Venable singled to begin the sixth. One out later, Venable stole second and scored on Gyorko's single.

Gonzalez was disappointed that the Braves' bats were quiet most of the weekend. Atlanta scored just three runs in the series and lost two of three.

"I thought (Teheran) pitched well enough for him to deserve a better opportunity to win the ballgame, if that makes any sense," Gonzalez said. "He gives up four runs, and I've seen our club at times score six, and he gets the win. We didn't do that today for him."

For Smith, the afternoon couldn't have gone much better, setting career highs in strikeouts, innings and earning his first win.

"It's good to get that out of the way," Smith said. "I don't have that hanging over my head anymore."

NOTES: In the first six games of San Diego's 10-game road trip, Headley is hitting .364 with three homers and seven RBIs in 22 at-bats. ... Venable, who went 3 for 4, became the 10th San Diego player to have a 20 homer-20 steal season. The last Padre to accomplish the feat was Mike Cameron in 2006. ... Gattis went 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats. ... Medica has hit safely in his first five games, batting .316 with three RBIs in 19 at-bats. ... Teheran didn't walk a batter for the first time since June 21 at Milwaukee, a span of 13 starts. ... Braves CF B.J. Upton, who went 0 for 3 and struck out twice, is 1 for his last 21. His average dropped one point to .190. Upton has struck out 143 times in 378 at-bats.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire offensive, defensive line coaches
The Atlanta Falcons have fired defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn.
7:02PM ( 1 year ago )
Best, worst of Falcons' 4-12 season
Best Game: They'd been eliminated from playoff contention previous week vs. New Orleans, but the Falcons showed some heart with Dec. 1 overtime victory over Bills in Toronto.
6:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Gonzalez's career ends with another Falcons loss
Tony Gonzalez is ready for the next chapter of his life.
9:47PM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Region title deciders on the line? Could well be the case for Friday
We’re past the halfway point in the season, so it’s no wonder that this week brings with it a handful of contests that could well decide the destiny of a region crown and/or playoff positioning this weekend.
4:40PM ( 5 hours from now )
Softball: Region tournaments finally back in action after rainouts
The weather has been as big a story as the teams themselves as region tournaments to fill the girls state softball brackets have been postponed twice in the last week due to rain.
12:18PM ( 1 hour from now )
Quinn getting message of starting fast through to Falcons
Coach Dan Quinn has been trying to get the Atlanta Falcons to start games fast...
11:09AM ( 11 minutes from now )
Hart says Braves 'will be better' following 67-win finish
The last time the Atlanta Braves finished below 70 wins was 1990, when they were in a rebuilding process based on pitching...
9:59AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Georgia adds state-of-the-art cryotherapy chamber
The University of Georgia Athletic Association will give its student-athletes a competitive advantage by offering access to a new state-of-the-art whole body cryotherapy chamber from Atlanta-based Impact Cryotherapy, a national leader in designing and manufacturing whole body cryotherapy systems.
By UGA Sports Communications
8:03AM ( 2 hours ago )