Justin Upton was surprised to be pinch-hit for in ninth inning of Braves' 7-0 loss to Phillies. (Video by David O'Brien)

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers combine to no-hit the Braves

The Braves started their first inning Monday with consecutive walks, started their second inning with a hit batter, and started the third and sixth innings with walks.

But there were no runs in any of those innings. Oh, and no hits. No hits all day for the Braves, who reached a new offensive nadir on Labor Day.

Atlanta went hitless in a 7-0 loss to the Phillies at Turner Field, where Cole Hamels and three relievers combined on a no-hitter against a reeling Atlanta offense that has scored one run in its past 27 innings.

The Braves got five walks and a hit batter in six innings against Hamels, then went flat as a pancake against relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon in an all-around ugly loss to open a three-game series at Turner Field.

Phillies pitchers retired the last 12 Braves in order and 20 of the last 21.

It was the 17th no-hitter thrown against the Braves in their 140-year history and the first combined no-hitter by multiple opposing pitchers. For the Phillies, it was the 12th no-hitter in franchise history and the first combined (multi-pitcher) no-hitter.

The Braves have thrown one combined no-hitter of their own in 1991, when Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena pulled off the feat against the Padres.

There have been three no-hitters thrown against the Braves in the past 35 years, with Arizona’s Randy Johnson (2004) and Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez (2010) pitching the previous two, also at Turner Field.

Hamels was pinch-hit for with two out and two on in the seventh, after throwing 108 pitches through six hitless innings with five walks and seven strikeouts. The move paid off for the Phillies when Julio Teheran walked pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore to load the bases, and Ben Revere cleared them with a triple.

Revere’s hit over right fielder Jason Heyward’s head chased Teheran from the game, with all three runs unearned due to an error against Andrelton Simmons. The Gold Glove shortstop botched a routine grounder that would’ve been the second out of the inning with none on base.

Teheran (13-10) was charged with five hits and five runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings, with four walks (two intentional) and three strikeouts. He had been 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA and .177 opponents’ average in his past three starts before Monday.

Hamels (8-6) improved to 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in in his past nine starts, and continued his recent dominance against the Braves. He’s 4-0 with 0.97 ERA in five starts against Atlanta in the past 13 months, with 40 strikeouts and just 17 hits allowed in 37 innings.

One out after Simmons’ error, Teheran intentionally walked Cody Asche with first base open, after Domonic Brown stole second base. He walked Sizemore to load the bases for Revere, who finished with a career-high five RBIs.

Revere had a sacrifice fly in the third inning, following a double by No. 8 hitter Cody Asche and a Hamels sacrifice bunt.

Hamels also singled and scored on a sixth-inning triple by Jimmy Rollins, who had his 658th multi-hit game to break Richie Ashburn’s franchise record.

Phillies manager Ryan Sandberg opted to pinch-hit for Hamels with a no-hitter intact, since he’d already thrown 108 pitches through six innings including a 16-pitch sixth inning. Hamels had not thrown more than 120 pitches since June 6, when he threw 125.

Heyward had a career-high three stolen bases in just the first three innings, but if Hamels didn’t seem too stressed over that development it was probably because he was confident he could thwart the Braves when he needed to. Which he did.

To read a complete write-thru version of this story including postgame quotes, please go to MyAJC.com or use this link.

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