Perez lifts Braves past Cubs 4-2 with 2-run single in 8th
Jul. 18, 2015
ATLANTA (AP) — Eury Perez doubled his RBI total and snapped the Braves' losing streak.
Perez drove in two runs with a bases-loaded, tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and Atlanta overcame Kyle Schwarber's three hits to beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Friday night.
Perez had driven in only one run since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on June 18, but he had at least one hit in 11 of his first 14 starts.
"He's been swinging the bat well since he's been up here," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who said he "felt good he was going to put the ball in play."
Added Gonzalez: "You didn't know he was going to have the two-run, game-winning RBI."
Perez punched the single to right field off Pedro Strop (1-5) to drive in Kelly Johnson, who doubled, and A.J. Pierzynski, who was issued an intentional walk.
"Huge. That's awesome," said Johnson of the big hit by Perez. "We need everybody to step up. We need anybody and everybody."
It was the second straight loss for Strop, who also gave up two runs in a 6-5 loss to the Cardinals on July 8.
"The stuff is there," Strop said. "I feel good. Nothing's hurting. ... It's not going my way right now."
The Braves snapped a five-game losing streak.
Schwarber, the left-handed hitting rookie, had two singles and a double — all to right field — in his first start at catcher after being recalled earlier in the day.
Kyle Hendricks took a streak of 22 1/3 scoreless innings into the game before giving up a first-inning run. Schwarber's throwing error on a stolen base by Nick Markakis set up Johnson's run-scoring single to right field.
Hendricks allowed two runs, one earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
The Cubs couldn't take advantage of having runners on first and third with no outs in the first. They again had runners on first and third in the third. Following Kris Bryant's second strikeout, Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases. Jorge Soler followed with a two-run single to center field.
Julio Teheran allowed two runs and five hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. After throwing more than 100 pitches in six of his last seven starts, Teheran didn't look happy to be pulled with two outs in the fifth after throwing 90 pitches. Teheran exited after giving up a two-out double to Schwarber and a walk to Bryant.
Ross Detwiler, signed earlier in the day, ended the inning on Rizzo's groundout.
Schwarber, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, was named the MVP of the All-Futures Game on Sunday. He was recalled by Chicago on Friday because of catcher Miguel Montero's thumb injury.
Atlanta's bullpen combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Arodys Vizcaino (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Jim Johnson earned his sixth save with three straight outs in the ninth. Johnson has moved into the closer's role following Jason Grilli's season-ending Achilles injury.
Ryan Kelly, recalled from Gwinnett before the game, gave up one hit in a scoreless sixth.
Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes was called safe at first in the fifth before the call was overturned following a review that lasted only 40 seconds. Shortstop Starlin Castro bobbled Gomes' grounder before throwing to first.
Cubs: Montero is expected to be out longer than two weeks with a left thumb sprain. Montero was expected to see a hand specialist in Chicago on Friday and to be checked again in Arizona this weekend.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman (right wrist contusion), who has been on the DL since June 23, retroactive to June 18, could begin his injury rehab Sunday or Monday.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (4-8) will try for his first win since May 16 when he makes his fifth career start against the Braves. He is 0-6 since a 4-2 start.
Braves: Rookie LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0), who has allowed only one run in his first 12 innings, will make his third start.