April 18, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
57°F

Tribe Tuesday: Braves rookie handcuffs Cleveland hitters

ATLANTA — Rookie Alex Wood pitched five-plus strong innings, Elliot Johnson had a two-run triple and the Atlanta Braves beat the Indians 2-0 on Tuesday night.

The Braves have won two straight, improving the majors’ best record to 79-52. They have won 14 of 17 at Turner Field and own baseball’s No. 1 home mark at 45-18.

Closer Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 42nd save, most in the majors, in 45 chances.

He struck out Drew Stubbs and retired pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Bourn on groundouts.

The Indians and Braves met for the first time since 2007 and for the first time at Turner Field since 2004.

Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Brian McCann walked with one out, advanced to third on Joey Terdoslavich’s single to right field and both runners scored when Johnson tripled over Stubbs near the wall in right.

Wood (3-2) allowed five hits, a career-high four walks and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings.

The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his past six starts.

Cleveland had won two straight and five of six, but lost despite holding Atlanta to just three hits.

Rookie Danny Salazar (1-2) gave up three hits, two runs and two walks in four innings. The right-hander struck out three.

Wood issued his four walks in the first three innings, but he worked around Asdrubal Cabrera’s leadoff double in the fourth and Jason Kipnis’ two-out double in the fifth.

A two-out single by Michael Brantley chased Wood in the sixth. The next Atlanta pitcher, Luis Ayala, walked Stubbs, the only batter he faced, but Scott Downs ended the threat by striking out pinch-hitter Jason Giambi.

Cabrera went 3-for-4 and was the only batter with more than one hit.

Prior to the game, Braves right fielder Jason Heyward rejoined the team for the first time since getting hit by Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese last Wednesday, breaking the right side of his jaw with a 90-mph fastball. Heyward hopes to return for the playoffs.

Atlanta pitcher Brandon Beachy was also in the clubhouse one day after learning there’s no structural damage in his surgically repaired elbow. Beachy, who has missed 109 games over the past two years, hopes to return by the end of next month.