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Braves cruise past Phillies, 8-1

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

PHILADELPHIA The floundering Braves hadn't won a road series in two months before Wednesday, when they needed to get it done in order to avoid an indignity they hadn't experienced in a quarter-century.

They finally did something with relative ease, as Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings for his 10th win and the Braves had a season-high 18 hits in an 8-1, series-clinching victory at Citizens Bank Park.

Michael Bourn led the way with a season-high four hits for the Braves, who won two of three in the series to snap a string of six consecutive series losses and eight road-series losses, their last road-series win coming in Milwaukee July 6-8.

The Braves (56-84) stayed two games ahead of the last-place Phillies in the National League East standings. Atlanta hasn't been in last place after the All-Star break alone in last or tied for last since finishing 65-97 in the NL West in 1990.

Christian Bethancourt added three hits including a homer, and 30-year-old Cuban newcomer Hector Olivera had his first three-hit game for the Braves, who hadn't collected as many as 15 hits in a game since getting 17 in a 12-inning, 9-8 win against the Giants on Aug. 3.

The last time the Braves had 18 hits in a nine-inning game was in July 2013, also at Philadelphia

The offensive eruption by the previously moribund Atlanta offense overshadowed a splendid performance by Teheran, who thrives in the hitter-friendly Philadelphia ballpark that so many other visiting pitchers loathe.

Teheran (10-7) allowed four hits, one run and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings, continuing his recent success on the road after faring miserably away from Turner Field in the first four months of the season. He's 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his past four road starts, after going 1-5 with a 7.24 ERA in 11 road starts through the end of July.

His past two road wins have come at Citizens Bank Park, where Teheran is 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA in five career starts. Teheran is 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA in seven starts against the Phillies home and away since the beginning of the 2014 season, including 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three this season.

Beginning with a blown two-run lead in the eighth inning of a July 8 loss against the Brewers, the Braves were 3-27 with a 6.14 ERA and 78 runs in their past 30 road games before Wednesday, when they got a run in the first inning and three in the fourth to build a 4-1 lead against Phillies starter David Buchanan (2-8).

Buchanan, a seventh-round draft pick in 2010 and the first player from Georgia State to play in the major leagues, gave up 10 hits, four runs and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander has allowed a staggering 31 hits, 22 earned runs and five homers in just nine total innings over his past three starts.

Bethancourt's leadoff homer in the fourth inning was the rookie catcher's second in of the season and just the third homer in 10 games for the Braves, who need 14 homers in their last 22 games to avoid totaling fewer than 100 homers for the first time since hitting 96 in 1988.

Freddie Freeman added a two-run single in the fourth to push the lead to 4-1, his first hit in eight at-bats with bases loaded this season.

Three of the Braves' four road wins in 41 games since July 7 have come against the Phillies, the only team in baseball with a worse record than the Braves.

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