ATLANTA -- Along with accounting for one of the three home runs Julio Teheran surrendered to players who hadn't previously homered this season, Marcus Stroman easily handled a Freddie Freeman-less Braves lineup while helping the Blue Jays cruise to Thursday night's 9-0 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.
After losing each of the first three games of this home-and-home Interleague series, the Blue Jays left no doubt in this finale as they tallied three runs in three of the first four innings. Stroman completed 5 2/3 scoreless innings and contributed to the early offensive onslaught as he drilled his first career home run in the fourth inning. The opposite-field shot traveled a projected 370 feet with a 99-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™.
"I think it was a good win for us," Stroman said. "I think it was a good momentum win for us, especially heading into Baltimore over the weekend. Baltimore is always going to swing it and be competitive and it's the AL East. I think this is a great game to get everybody hot and feeling the right way and take this momentum into Baltimore."
Recently promoted Darrell Ceciliani highlighted his three-RBI night with a two-run home run in the third inning that traveled a projected 424 feet into the right-field seats. Ceciliani injured his left shoulder on the swing and exited the game after homering off Teheran, who surrendered a career-high nine earned runs and eight hits over three-plus innings.
Playing their first game without Freeman, who fractured his left wrist on Wednesday and will be out for 10 weeks, the Braves never recovered from the early onslaught endured by Teheran, who exited shortly after allowing backup catcher Luke Maile and Stroman to open the fourth inning with back-to-back home runs. The home runs surrendered to Maile and Ceciliani came against changeups.
Teheran has allowed opponents to hit .337 and compile a .425 on-base percentage as he's produced a 10.50 ERA in five home starts (24 innings). Opponents have hit .195 and compiled a .273 OBP as the Braves' hurler has posted a 0.71 ERA in four road starts (25 1/3 innings).
"I don't feel something [different] when I'm pitching, but we're seeing the results and it's not what I want, especially compared to what I've done on the road," Teheran said. "We're still looking at what's going on and hopefully it gets better, because it's our stadium and that's where I want to feel more comfortable."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Revenge backfires: After Jose Bautista's bat flip on a home run in a five-run game led the benches to clear on Wednesday night, Teheran attempted to send a message when he hit Bautista in the left thigh with a 95.6-mph heater in the first inning. The Blue Jays' outfielder simply took first base and then watched his teammates record three straight hits. Ceciliani and Chris Coghlan highlighted the three-run first inning with consecutive doubles.
"The one thing about Jose -- I've seen it and I've never seen anybody like it -- when he gets drilled or they throw behind him or something, he always comes back to burn somebody," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I've never seen anything like it."
Leaves 'em stranded:Tyler Flowers opened the bottom of the second with an opposite-field double that skipped over the first-base bag. But instead of cutting into their three-run deficit, the Braves left Flowers stranded at third base. Jace Peterson and Rio Ruiz sandwiched groundouts around a Dansby Swanson strikeout.
"It was going to be tough to get [Stroman] tonight after we got down," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It didn't look like he was going anywhere anytime soon. It was just rough."
"It's been a tough day. When I visited with Freddie, he made me feel good. He's in good spirits and realistic about everything. It wasn't a good feeling for any of us when you lose somebody like that, not only as a player, but for the kind of person he is and what he brings to the field every day. He leaves everything out there every day and you know he's going to show up to play. So that was tough for everybody." -- Snitker, on suffering this loss hours after learning Freeman's wrist was fractured
"I didn't really know what was going to happen. I did feel like the first one was a signal. They did what they had to do. They did what they thought they had to do. It is what it is. We came to win the ballgame and that's what we did." -- Bautista, on Teheran missing with the first pitch and hitting him with the second
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Stroman's homer was the second by a pitcher in franchise history. The only other pitcher to do it was lefty Mark Hendrickson back on June 21, 2003. More >
Stroman, Ceciliani and Maile all hit their first home runs of the season. According to STATS, the last time a team had three players hit their first home runs of the season in the same game at least 40 games into the season was July 2, 2002, when the Pirates did so.
WHAT'S NEXT Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a three-game series vs. the Orioles on Friday night at Camden Yards. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Sanchez returned from the disabled list to make his last start against the Mariners and allowed one unearned run over five innings. He threw 78 pitches and should be in the range of 90 for this outing.
Braves:R.A. Dickey will take the mound when Atlanta welcomes first-place Washington to SunTrust Park on Friday for the opener of a three-game series at 7:35 p.m. ET. Dickey has allowed seven home runs in 25 innings at home and two homers in 17 2/3 innings on the road.