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Published: Wednesday, 8/28/2013

BASEBALL

Braves rookie pitcher Wood helps blank Indians

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Elliot Johnson takes off after hitting a triple in the second inning Tuesday night against Cleveland to drive in the game's only runs. Atlanta's Elliot Johnson takes off after hitting a triple in the second inning Tuesday night against Cleveland to drive in the game's only runs.
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ATLANTA — Rookie Alex Wood pitched five-plus strong innings, Elliot Johnson had a two-run triple, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cleveland 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 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.

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.

NOTES: The Indians and Braves met for the first time since 2007 and for the first time at Turner Field since 2004. ... Atlanta 2B Dan Uggla, who’s trying to return from corrective eye surgery, went 2 for 4 and homered Tuesday for Triple-A Gwinnett. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Uggla could be activated today.

Heyward eyes recovery

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward is hoping to make it back in time to play for the Atlanta Braves in the postseason, while ailing starting pitcher Brandon Beachy is shooting for the end of September.

Heyward joined the team Tuesday for the first time since the slugger was beaned by Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese last Wednesday, breaking the right side of his jaw with a 90-mph fastball.

Heyward, who underwent surgery and had two metal plates inserted, hopes to return for the playoffs. Atlanta had baseball’s best record before Tuesday night’s game against Cleveland.

“I don’t have a timetable for you,” Heyward said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be sooner. I don’t know if it’s going to be later.”

The slugger, who missed 22 games after undergoing an appendectomy, became Atlanta’s leadoff hitter on July 27. During his next 22 games, Heyward hit .349 with five homers, 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored.



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