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MIA@ATL: Teheran strikes out eight over 6 1/3 frames

With his team's magic number to clinch the National League East over Washington at four, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez admits that it's been difficult not to check how the Nationals are doing.

"It's hard not to watch scoreboards, but we have to win what's in front of us," Gonzalez said. "That's what it's all about."

They'll look to get one step closer Sunday against the Padres in the series finale at Turner Field.

Julio Teheran, who starts for Atlanta, has a 2.45 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. Against the Marlins on Tuesday, the right-hander won his second straight start, allowing three runs -- all in the first inning -- on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"I was feeling good after that inning and I was trying to do the same thing that I've been doing," Teheran said. "I was trying to be aggressive with the hitters and show everything I have."

Against the Padres earlier this season, Teheran allowed five runs on six hits in six innings and took the loss.

Meanwhile, San Diego's Burch Smith will be on the hill in his first career start against Atlanta, looking for his first Major League victory.

Smith was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on Sept. 2 for his fourth stint this season. Over 18 starts between Tucson and Double-A San Antonio, he went 6-3 with a 2.63 ERA.

In his previous outing Sept. 6 against the Rockies, Smith went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He also struck out seven and walked four in the no-decision.

"It definitely wasn't pretty," Smith said after the game. "I'd like to do it a little bit better, cut down on the walks, definitely. But it was good to at least get through five innings and battle."

Padres: Kennedy not fretting about home run totals
• While right-hander Ian Kennedy never likes giving up home runs, he never gets too worried about it in games he's pitched well.

"Maybe if I'm missing my spots, it would bother me," said Kennedy, who is known as a fly-ball pitcher. "But it's something that's going to happen."

That was the case Friday when Kennedy allowed a solo home run to the Braves' Justin Upton and a two-run home run to Brian McCann in the fourth inning. Those two shots marked home runs No. 24 and 25 he's allowed this season. That ranks him second in the NL in home runs allowed.

"I felt pretty good about the way that I threw the ball," he said. "That's a tough lineup. That's a home-run hitting team. I felt the command of my fastball down was good. I threw a lot of fastballs, which helped my changeup."

Braves: Heyward continuing to build up strength
• Outfielder Jason Heyward (fractured jaw) took part in pregame warmups with his teammates for the second consecutive day Saturday.

"Each day on the field, it's going to begin to come back more and more and more," Heyward said. "I've been swinging in the cage just to be ready for these past two days, and now the outdoor process begins, just getting ready to do things physically outside on the baseball field."

While Gonzalez was happy with Heyward's work in the cage, he isn't ready to set anything in stone about the team's plans to send Heyward to the Instructional League next week to see some live at-bats before he is activated.

Worth noting
• Outfielder Will Venable, with 22 home runs and 19 steals, is one stolen base shy of marking the 10th 20-homer, 20-stolen base campaign by a San Diego player.

• Braves starting pitchers have turned in a quality start in 25 of the team's last 36 games (since Aug. 3) and lead the NL with 92 quality starts this season.

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