EditorsNote: rewords third graf
Kansas City’s Brad Keller threw seven shutout innings, and the Royals beat the host Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Wednesday to sweep a two-game series.
Keller, who grew up as a Braves fan in nearby Flowery Branch, Ga., was making his first career start against Atlanta. He allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out three, throwing an economical 88 pitches, 62 for strikes.
It was the fourth straight solid start, and fourth straight win, for the big right-hander, who has allowed four earned runs over his past 27 innings. Keller (7-9) also singled to right-center to drive in a run. It was his first career RBI.
Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth and Ian Kennedy worked a perfect ninth inning, striking out two, to earn his 19th save. Kennedy has saved eight games in eight opportunities since the All-Star break.
The Royals improved to 9-3 since the All-Star Game. The Braves are 6-6 since the break and have dropped six of their past eight.
The Royals scored their runs, both unearned, in the second inning. Jorge Soler led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on Bubba Starling’s ground-rule double.
With two outs, Meibrys Viloria poked a grounder that skipped under first baseman Freddie Freeman, with Starling scoring on the error. Keller then singled home the second run.
Those two runs were the only damage against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (5-7). He pitched six innings and gave up four hits, two walks and struck out six. Teheran dropped to 0-2 in two career starts against Kansas City, despite giving up only four runs, one earned, in 13 innings.
Atlanta left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. went 1-for-4 to extend his career-best on-base streak to 29 consecutive games. His on-base run began June 19 and is the longest active streak in the major leagues.
Kansas City first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert was the only player with multiple hits. He went 2-for-4 and is 16-for-48 (.333) over the past 13 games.
—Field Level Media