Brad Keller thrived in his Georgia homecoming, allowing only four hits in seven innings while adding a second-inning single for his first career RBI, and the Kansas City Royals beat Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Keller (7-9), a 2013 graduate of Flowery Branch High School north of Atlanta, won his fourth straight decision.
Keller had been 2-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 13 road starts this season. There were no signs of those road struggles as he did not allow a baserunner to reach second base.
The hard-throwing Keller ended the fourth by striking out Brian McCann on a 98 mph fastball. He ended the sixth by striking out Freddie Freeman with a fastball clocked at 97 mph.
The Royals swept the two-game series, leaving the Braves 4-4 against the American League this season. Atlanta hasn’t had a winning record in interleague play since posting an 11-9 mark in 2013.
The Braves began the day 5 1/2 games ahead of second-place Washington in the NL East. The Royals have won nine of 12.
An error by Freeman at first base contributed to Kansas City’s two-run second inning. Jorge Soler, who walked, advanced to third on Bubba Starling’s double. Nicky Lopez hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who tagged Soler as he attempted to return to the base.
With two outs, Meibrys Viloria’s bad-hop grounder bounced past Freeman for an error, allowing Starling to score. Keller’s single up the middle pushed the lead to 2-0.
Through two innings, Teheran had thrown 52 pitches. Keller’s count was only 19. Teheran (5-7) was more efficient the remainder of his night as he allowed four hits with two runs, none earned, in six innings.
Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save.