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July 28, 2013

Braves clip Cards

ATLANTA — Andrelton Simmons and the Braves haven’t said much about last year’s NL wild-card loss to the Cardinals.

Beating the Cardinals in July won’t make up for that playoff defeat. But Simmons said it’s a start.

Simmons hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Braves, boosted by Julio Teheran’s sharp outing, beat the Cardinals 2-0 Saturday in a matchup of NL division leaders.

The Braves have won the first two games of the first series between the teams this season. The Cardinals beat the Braves 6-3 at Turner Field in last season’s wild-card game.

“They’re a great team,” said Simmons of the Cardinals. “They got us last year in a pretty big game. We owe them some. It’s good to see this team beating them.”

Teheran allowed two hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Simmons’ bases-loaded, two-out double came on a 99 mph fastball from Trevor Rosenthal. With the count at 2-1, Simmons was looking for a fastball.

“I know he was behind in the count and I know he’s comfortable with his fastball,” Simmons said. “He throws pretty hard. I was ready for it. ... I was just looking for something over the plate and he threw it somewhere I could reach it.”

Randy Choate (1-1) walked Freddie Freeman to open the eighth. Evan Gattis struck out and Brian McCann singled. Rosenthal relieved and struck out Dan Uggla before walking Chris Johnson to load the bases.

Luis Avilan (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Craig Kimbrel recorded three outs to earn his 30th save.

Cardinals starter Joe Kelly pitched 6 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and walking three in only his fourth start of the season and first appearance since July 12.

“Very, very impressive,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. “It was maybe the best I’ve ever seen him throw. Everything. His aggressiveness, his slider, breaking ball, changeup, all of them were as good as I’ve seen.

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