Braves quotes after Saturday’s win against Cardinals

— Quotes compiled by Carroll Rogers and David O’Brien

**ANDRELTON SIMMONS

On his game-winning, two-out, two-run double

“I haven’t done well with runners in scoring position this year. I’ve been trying, but it’s nice to see results.”

On Teheran’s performance

“Awesome. He was awesome. I like seeing him, he’s my boy, so whenever he’s out there I try my utmost best to see him do good, to get him a win. Unfortunately I couldn’t get that hit early.

“He’s been doing great for us. He’s been pounding the strike zone, he’s been striking people out, he’s been doing a great job.”

On impressive pitching first two games of series

“Mike Minor was great yesterday. He kept us in the game. Teheran did the same thing today.”

On taking the series against the team with NL’s best record

“They’re a great team. They got us last year in a pretty big game and we owe them some. It’s good to see the team beating them.”

On relief to get the hit with team missing on scoring chances

“Yeah it doesn’t matter who gets it done as long as it gets done. Tonight it was my night. I’m happy it was me, though. We’ve got to do a better job at that as a team, at hitting with runners in scoring position.”

Got the big hit on a 99-mph fastball, looking for particular location?

“I know he was behind in the count. I know he’s comfortable with his fastball. I know he throws pretty hard. I was ready for it. I wasn’t looking anywhere in particular. I was just looking for something over the plate and he threw it somewhere I could reach.”

Sort of grimaced, grabbed lower back running first in second at-bat. Any problems staying in the game?

“No not really. My back has been acting up every once in a while a little bit, but just have to stay loose, keep stretching during the game. I was fine after that.”

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On moving Simmons to 8th spot and he comes through in big situation

“He came up twice with big hits. I think he’s one of those guys, you can put him anywhere you want and he’s going to come up big for you and get some big at-bats. And that one there in the eighth inning was definitely a big at-bat.”

“I thought it might have been the best two games we’ve played all year back-to-back. Not just because we won them. It was good pitching, and that’s what it’s all about. You get the good pitching, it makes your club play better. And Julio was outstanding. So much that we had to think about pinch-hitting for him. But you’ve got to take a shot. The bullpen’s in pretty good shape there and you’ve got to take a shot there.

“We had an opportunity with bases loaded and one out, and we didn’t convert. And then we come back out, Avi does a great job with those left-handers (in Cardinals’ eighth) and then Freeman and McCann both got on base against a tough left-hander, Choate, and it sets the stage for Simmons.”

How tough a decision to pinch-hit for Teheran, who had retired 19 of his last 20 batters and thrown 88 pitches

“I think if there’s nobody on, you let him hit. But in that situation when you’re at home and your bullpen’s in pretty good shape, I think you’ve got to take a shot, somebody could split a gap — and we did; Terdo had a nice at-bat there – and get us a run.”

On Minor and Teheran last two nights, what’s made them so effective against that lineup

“Today I thought Julio did a nice job mixing up his pitches. He did a nice job. And you can mix them up and not throw them for strikes, but he threw everything for strikes today, and kept them off-balance.”

If he had more run support these last 15-18 starts, he could have several more wins

“You can’t ask for anything more than he’s done, really. You can’t wait for him to keep going out there every five days, because he keeps getting better like Minor did last year, and Beachy a couple of years prior to that. Mac deserves some credit, mixing the pitches. And we caught the ball, played good defense.”

On winning this series after what happened in New York with Huddy going down

“Sometimes people always think the glass is half-empty; I think the glass if half-full, and I think the guys will rally behind that. And not one individual has to step up. I think collectively if as a unit, as a team, everybody steps up and carries that weight, we’re going to be OK.”

**CHRIS JOHNSON

On taking first two games in this series

“It’s big. We’ve been doing well at home. When teams come here, we’ve been able to protect ourselves at home. But any time you get to beat a ball club like that, you’ve got to be a little proud of yourself.”

On the job Minor did last night and Julio today

“Yeah these guys have been doing well all year for us, but obviously we lost our horse (Hudson) in New York. They’re stepping up, that’s what they’re supposed to do.”

On key for Braves offense in first two games

“You’ve just got to keep grinding. J-Hey got a hold of one last night but you’re not going to go up and there just slug them away and hit homers. Got to come up with the big hit. Got to get guys on, just try to give yourself as many opportunities like that as possible. Those arms they have over there, their lineup, it’s a plus, an honor to beat that team.”

On big hit from Simmons

“Everybody knows what he can do with his defense and that shows his offense right there. Coming through with the big hit with two outs, that’s not easy to do in a big league ball game against a guy throwing 98. It was a big hit for us.”

On what was working for Cardinals’ starter Kelly

“He was throwing the ball to both sides of the plate with his fastball, getting ahead. His curveball was good. He threw me a change-up that was pretty good. He battled. He came after us right away and Julio kept us in the ballgame and pitched great.”

Allowing yourself to even start thinking about batting race?

“No. It’s cool to think about, but if you start thinking about it, it’s probably when you’ll go the other way. So I’m just going to try to keep doing what we’re doing. The biggest thing for me is just winning the game and we’re doing that.”

On Teheran’s stuff

“It’s impressive. I told him after the game, I said, ‘You’re really good because that team over there is really good.’ That lineup top to bottom is one of the best in baseball and he shut them down for seven innings. So he should be proud of himself. He’s an impressive kid.”

**JULIO TEHERAN

On his performance

“I felt good. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I got it in my mind to just work hard. And all my pitches were working good today.”

How tough to come out when you did, for pinch-hitter?

“I didn’t want to come out. I wanted to stay in the game. But I know that’s the manager’s decision. It’s just good that we got a win.”

Was that one of the best games you’ve pitched?

“Yes, I think that’s the best game I’ve pitched. The command I had today, that’s the best I’ve had this year.”

“I feel like I’ve been doing my work and I’m glad the team knows and has given me support. I feel good every time I go out there.”

On his curveball

“It’s getting better, and I used it a lot today. It was slow, and I was trying to, like, kind of play with them. It worked today.”

On being focused every at-bat against Cardinals’ tough lineup

“I knew I had to make pitches from the first batter to the end. Just commanding and making pitches.”