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ARI@ATL: Teheran fans 10 over six dominant innings

ATLANTA -- The Braves knew they would have to surrender a prized prospect or two when they went after Justin Upton in trade discussions with the D-backs this offseason. In particular, it was likely that one of the organization's top young arms, either Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado, would be sent to Arizona in the deal. Ultimately, Delgado ended up as one of the headline pieces in the trade that brought Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta.

On Friday night, the two young pitchers squared off as opponents for the first time in front of a sellout Turner Field crowd, and Teheran got the better of his good friend and former teammate, turning in a 10-strikeout performance to secure the Braves' 3-0 victory over the D-backs.

After the Braves retired Chipper Jones' No. 10 during a star-studded pregame ceremony, Teheran stole the spotlight and silenced the Arizona bats for the first six innings of Atlanta's four-hit shutout.

Teheran allowed one baserunner in each of his first five innings, but escaped unscathed. His strongest inning may have been his last, in which he needed only 13 pitches to strike out Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero in quick succession to end the sixth and walk off the field to a hearty ovation from the 48,282 in attendance.

"The first three innings, it was a little bit hot, I was sweating a lot, so it was difficult for me," Teheran said. "But at the end, the last inning I was trying to get 10 K's -- Chipper Jones' number."

Teheran's treatment of Goldschmidt, the dangerous D-backs No. 3 hitter who entered Friday with the eighth-highest on-base-plus-slugging percentage in baseball, was particularly impressive. Goldschmidt, who went 6-for-11 with four doubles and a home run in his first three games against the Braves in mid-May, was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Teheran on Friday.

"That was a hitter that I was trying to be careful," Teheran said. "I know I couldn't make a mistake with him."

Delgado took his second loss in three Major League starts this season, surrendering the two runs on eight hits and three walks with only three strikeouts. The D-backs have scored a total of five runs in his three starts.

The Braves jumped out to a slim early lead in the first inning when Jason Heyward took the first pitch he saw from Delgado the opposite way for a ground-rule double and scored on Upton's RBI single up the middle.

Andrelton Simmons doubled the Atlanta lead with a solo home run off Delgado in the bottom of the fifth inning, the shortstop's sixth homer this season and fourth career homer when leading off an inning.

Until the game's first pitch, Friday had been all about Jones, who was inducted into the Braves' Hall of Fame earlier that afternoon and had his number retired during a special pregame ceremony. But Jones, who spoke fondly of his former teammates and his continued adjustment to watching games from home, maintained that some of the 2013 team's young players could one day find their numbers on the scaffolding of Turner Field.

On Friday, Teheran shined brighter than any of the budding stars Jones could have been referring to, turning in his strongest start since he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Pirates in early June.

"We know what he's capable of," Simmons said. "He looks more confident off the mound, and he's starting to do what he's been doing in the Minor Leagues for a couple years back, so it's nice to see that."

Dan Uggla, who spoke on behalf of the current Braves players during Jones' ceremony, tacked on the final run of the game after he led off the eighth with a triple into the opposite-field gap at the expense of reliever Zeke Spruill, another prospect sent to Arizona in the Upton trade. Reed Johnson laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to score Uggla three batters later to make it 3-0.

Uggla also saw his batting average rise above .200 for the first time since May 10 with a 2-for-4 night. The second baseman has raised his average from .175 to .202 while hitting .271 with a .843 OPS in his past 21 games.

"I feel like I'm hitting .300," Uggla said. "I've been finding holes and having better at-bats. Things are going in the right direction. It was tough for whatever reason to get above .200. But now, I'm going to reset my goals and try to keep going in the right direction."

Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel worked three scoreless innings in relief to secure the shutout, the first time the D-backs have been blanked all year. They were the last team in the Majors to endure their first shutout, 79 games into the season.

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