• 46°

Keller allows only 4 hits, has RBI as Royals top Braves, 2-0

By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Having a hometown cheering section gave Brad Keller a boost.
Facing his hometown team may have done even more for Keller’s adrenaline.
Keller thrived in his Georgia homecoming, allowing only four hits in seven innings while adding a second-inning single for his first career RBI , and the Kansas City Royals beat Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Keller (7-9), a 2013 graduate of Flowery Branch High School north of Atlanta, won his fourth straight decision.
“That was a blast to be able to come out here and pitch in front of my home team, I guess,” Keller said. “It was a lot of fun and a ton of adrenaline was going, especially in the first.”
Keller had been 2-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 13 road starts this season. There were no signs of those road struggles as he did not allow a baserunner to reach second base.
The big, hard-throwing Keller (6-5, 230) ended the fourth by striking out Brian McCann on a 98 mph fastball. He ended the sixth by striking out Freddie Freeman with a fastball clocked at 97 mph.
“He looked like a kid who grew up bailing hay,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Keller. “A big, strong guy. He was pounding his fastball. We didn’t do anything with him.”
The Royals swept the two-game series, leaving the Braves 4-4 against the American League this season. Atlanta hasn’t had a winning record in interleague play since posting an 11-9 mark in 2013.
The Braves began the day 5 ½ games ahead of second-place Washington in the NL East. The Royals have won nine of 12.
An error by Freeman at first base contributed to Kansas City’s two-run second inning. Jorge Soler, who walked, advanced to third on Bubba Starling’s double. Nicky Lopez hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who tagged Soler as he attempted to return to the base.
With two outs, Meibrys Viloria’s bad-hop grounder bounced past Freeman for an error, allowing Starling to score. Keller’s single up the middle pushed the lead to 2-0. It was his second career hit and first RBI.
After the hit, he said he told Freeman at first base it was all luck.
“He said, ‘Was it that easy?’ ” Keller said. “I said, ‘No, that was all luck.’ Close your eyes and swing hard in case you get it.”
Through two innings, Teheran had thrown 52 pitches. Keller’s count was only 19. Teheran (5-7) was more efficient the remainder of his night as he allowed four hits with two runs, none earned, in six innings.
Teheran was helped by Ender Inciarte’s catch of Alex Gordon’s drive at the center field wall in the third.
Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Royals: RHP Jakob Junis, still listed as the probable starter for Friday night’s game against Cleveland, was placed on paternity leave. His wife, Brie, gave birth to their third child, a son named Jett Boyd, on Tuesday night. RHP Jake Newberry was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Braves: SS Dansby Swanson was held out with a sore heel. He banged the heel on first base in Tuesday night’s game. Manager Brian Snitker said the team wanted to “be smart about this” and take advantage of Thursday’s off day to give Swanson extra rest. … LHP Max Fried (blister on his left index finger) is expected to start Saturday night at Philadelphia instead of Sunday’s afternoon game. The Braves hope there will be less humidity to possibly aggravate the blister in Saturday night’s game. … Snitker said RHP Jacob Webb (right elbow impingement) will be on the injured list longer than first hoped.
ON BASE AGAIN
Ronald Acuña Jr.’s infield hit in the third inning extended his on-base streak to 29 games, the longest active streak in the majors. The hit was initially ruled a fielding error by third baseman Hunter Dozier. … Soler’s walk extended his on-base streak to 20 games.
ROSTER MOVE
Before the game, the Braves optioned right-hander Wes Parsons to Triple-A Gwinnett and selected the contract of right-hander Jeremy Walker, who had a combined 2.84 ERA at Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi this season.
UP NEXT
Royals: LHP Mike Montgomery will make his second start since being acquired from the Cubs when Kansas City opens a four-game home series against RHP Adam Plutko (3-2, 4.81) and the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.46) will start Friday night’s series opener at Philadelphia.
___
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Comments

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18