Updated: May 9, 2014 11:41PM
ATLANTA – Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman drove a first pitch from Wesley Wright up the middle for a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday night to beat the Cubs 3-2 in the first game of a three-game series at Turner Field.
“It’s tough trying to win a ballgame with two runs,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “But we still had opportunities. […] All in all, we fought a pretty good battle there and we fell just a little bit short.”
Jason Heyward, who scored from second on Freeman’s hit, led off the 10th with a walk. Wright appeared to pick off Heyward, who broke early for second, but he beat the throw from first baseman Anthony Rizzo for a stolen base.
The lefty Wright then intentionally walked right-handed hitting Justin Upton with first base open to face the left-handed Freeman.
“It happens sometimes,” Renteria said. “Today just wasn’t the day that it worked out for us. But Wesley’s been fantastic for us, and I’d give him the ball again.”
It was the Cubs’ fifth loss in six games. They’ve managed just four hits in four of those losses, including Friday; five in the other.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel delivered his seventh quality start in as many turns since signing with the Cubs but wound up with a second consecutive no-decision when Atlanta starter Julio Teheran throttled the Cubs’ hitters.
Hammel pitched seven innings for the fifth time and held the offensively struggling Braves to a walk and seven singles. The only runs he allowed came on three consecutive singles in the third by Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson – with Gattis moving into scoring position on a wild pitch before Johnson’s hit.
Teheran allowed just one hit and two walks in his eight innings of work.
The hit was a home run by Mike Olt leading off the third inning – Olt’s third consecutive game with a home run. One of the walks off Teheran also belonged to Olt.
“He looks very good,” Renteria said. “His swings are obviously very explosive. When he makes contact, the ball jumps. So he’s showing well.”
Teheran recorded his major-league leading eighth quality start but the Cubs denied him a victory when they rallied for a tying run off Braves closer Craig Kimbrel – Chris Coghlan leading off the ninth with a single, taking third on a grounder and scoring on Ryan Kalish’s one-out single to left.
It was Kimbrel’s second blown save in 11 chances.
The start of the game was delayed 18 minutes by rain.