Pirates shut out 5-0, swept by Atlanta

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ATLANTA -- There was a 41-year gap between the times Bob Gibson and Homer Bailey pitched no-hitters against the Pirates.

The Pirates needed a pinch-hit single with two outs in the eighth inning Wednesday to make sure it didn't happen twice in nine months.

Julio Teheran took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, pitching brilliantly to beat the Pirates, 5-0, at Turner Field as the Braves wrapped up a three-game sweep.

It was the second time this year the Pirates faced the 22-year-old right-handed starter from Colombia, torching him for four earned runs in five innings in a Pirates win in April.

"Yeah, he was different this time," shortstop Clint Barmes said.

Great command of Teheran's changeup gave life to his fastball, which he ran up in the zone on Pirates hitters so they couldn't get on top of it. His fastball touched 95 mph and had late life that made it challenging for hitters to attack.

Atlanta's offense made the most of a short outing from Wandy Rodriguez, who left the game with an injury after recording just one out. The Pirates (35-25) initially described Rodriguez's injury as "tightness in his left forearm."

After hitting Freddie Freeman with a pitch, and with the Braves already leading, 1-0, Rodriguez met with athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk and grimaced as he flexed his left forearm, pointing to a spot just under his elbow.

Rodriguez left for Pittsburgh for further evaluation while the game was still in progress.

"He said he had left forearm tightness, and anything past than what he had gone out there to do at that point, he wasn't comfortable doing it," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We completely understood."

The Braves (37-22) tacked on four runs against the bullpen, which was tabbed to fill in for an injured starter for the second time in the past four games. Jeanmar Gomez left his start Sunday after one inning with a right forearm strain/inflammation.

After climbing to a season-high 14 games over .500, the Pirates have lost five of their past six.

Brandon Inge broke up Teheran's no-hitter with a line-drive single to left field with two outs in the eighth.

"It was a great game he pitched," Inge said. "I don't think any team ever wants to get no-hit, so I'm glad I could get a hit."

Teheran got two standing ovations from the Atlanta crowd. The first came after Inge ended his chance at history. The second came as he walked off the mound at the end of the eighth inning.

He struck out 11 batters and allowed one hit in eight innings.

It had been less than one year since the last time the Pirates were no-hit, when Bailey shut down their offense Sept. 28, 2012, at PNC Park.

It was just the 15th career start for Teheran. Though he kept the Pirates from getting a hit for 72/3 innings, he didn't keep them off the bases, walking two and hitting two others.

Should Rodriguez's injury cause him to miss a start, his absence could prove costly for the Pirates. He leads the team with six wins, and since making his first start as a Pirate before the trade deadline last year, he has 11 wins -- almost twice as many as any Pirates pitcher. In that span, A.J. Burnett has seven and Jeff Locke has six.

Charlie Morton (Tommy John surgery) was originally scheduled to throw 95 pitches in a rehabilitation start Saturday for Class AAA Indianapolis. But with Rodriguez's injury, he could be activated to pitch for the Pirates Saturday and buy the team more time in figuring out how to replace two holes in the rotation.

The Pirates could also promote former first overall pick Gerrit Cole, who pitched Wednesday for Indianapolis.

In Rodriguez's place Wednesday, Bryan Morris excelled. He got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by getting Evan Gattis to hit into an inning-ending double play, limiting the Braves' offensive output in the inning to the one run Rodriguez allowed.

Morris did not allow a hit in 32/3 innings, striking out two and walking three.

"Effectively wild," Morris said of his day. "I had some good life on my fastball. My slider was working, and I mixed in a couple curveballs that worked for me. So, it was good."

The Braves hit back-to-back homers off reliever Vin Mazzaro in the sixth to give Teheran a bit more breathing room.

Gattis hit his 13th home run of the season, crushing an 0-2 slider into the left field seats. The rookie, who picked up the nickname El Oso Blanco (The Polar Bear) while playing in Venezuelan Winter League, has homered twice against the Pirates this season.

Gerald Laird followed with his first homer of the season, smacking a 2-2 fastball just over the wall in left field to make it 3-0.

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Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino. First Published June 5, 2013 7:15 PM


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