Braves' downward slide gains momentum with 20-6 loss to Yankees that caps 3-game sweep



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ATLANTA — A Braves team that was at .500 through 84 games has since been in a downward slide that gained speed with three straight losses to the Yankees.

The last one was the most embarrassing.

Julio Teheran, who had been reliable at home, gave up eight runs and the bullpen fared no better as Atlanta lost 20-6 to New York to complete an embarrassing sweep.

The Braves (54-76) have lost five straight and 12 of 13. They've dropped nine consecutive interleague games since a win over Boston on June 17.

"It's deflating. Demoralizing," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But you know what? These guys are all in there. They've done it for 100-some games and they'll finish the same way as we started. And that's keep grinding, keep fighting and somehow we'll figure out how that bullpen shakes out."

Jake Brigham, Atlanta's fourth reliever, was battered for nine hits and eight runs in 1 2-3 innings.

The U.S. flag at Turner Field flew at half-staff and a moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of Gregory K. Murrey.

Murrey, a Braves season-ticket holder, died after falling from the upper deck to the lower-level seats on Saturday night. He was 60.

The Braves displayed a photo of Murrey on the video board during the moment of silence.

Teheran (9-7) lasted only 4 1-3 innings. The eight runs allowed tied his career high. He had been 7-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 13 home starts but was hurt by three walks and a trio of homers.

Teheran gave up two-out drives to Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew.

"Yeah, that was the only mistake that I made," Teheran said.

Ellsbury hit a three-run homer. Headley and Drew each had a two-run shot.

The Yankees almost matched their season high for runs set in a 21-5 win at Texas on July 28. They totaled 38 runs in the series after scoring a combined seven while losing three of the last four games of a 5-5 homestand.

"They just kicked our butts," said first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had two hits and drove in a run. "The whole series. ... That's what that lineup is capable of doing."

After the Braves cut the lead to 8-5, pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the Yankees' nine-run seventh inning.

Despite the sweep, the Yankees gained no ground on AL East-leading Toronto, which beat Detroit 9-2. The Blue Jays still lead New York by 1 1/2 games.

Nathan Eovaldi (14-2) allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He left the game after giving up three straight hits in the Braves' three-run sixth.

Ellsbury hit his seventh homer with two outs in the second. Headley's homer came after Teheran walked Greg Bird in the third inning. Teheran then walked Didi Gregorius before Drew's homer to right.

DIGGING THE NL

Branden Pinder, New York's fourth pitcher, hit a run-scoring double off Brigham in the eighth for his first career hit. It was the first hit by a Yankees pitcher this season.

BRIGHT SPOT FOR BRAVES

Atlanta rookie Adonis Garcia led off the seventh with a homer against Pinder. It was his seventh home run in 127 at-bats.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: Manager Joe Girardi said after the game 1B Mark Teixeira (bruised right shin) is feeling "a little better" but won't play Monday night at Boston.

UP NEXT

Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (5-6) faces the Red Sox. Nova is 3-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 career games, including nine starts, against Boston.

Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz will start the opening game of a home series against the Marlins. Foltynewicz beat Miami on Aug. 8, when he allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings of Atlanta's 7-2 win.

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