Chicago IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Johnson's three-run homer fueled a four-run third inning and helped the Atlanta Braves take a 10-7 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Johnson finished with three hits and three runs scored and Tommy La Stella supplied a three-run double among his three hits for the Braves who won three of their final four games before the All-Star break.
"We had a pretty good first half " Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We have to enjoy this break and come out in the second half and keep firing."
Starter Julio Teheran (9-6) earned the win despite giving up four runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts across seven innings.
Chris Coghlan and Arismendy Alcantara both homered for Chicago which dropped the final two games of the series. Starter Travis Wood (7-8) was tagged with the loss after giving up seven runs on seven hits and three walks in six frames.
"They just found holes " said Wood. "I made a bad pitch to Johnson in the third and he did his job."
Jason Heyward was safe on a force out and Johnson and La Stella both singled to load the bases in the second. Gerald Laird's double down the left-field line drove in two runs and Teheran's groundout brought home La Stella for a 3-0 lead.
The Braves added four more runs in the third. Andrelton Simmons walked and Justin Upton singled two batters later. Heyward's RBI base hit scored Simmons and Johnson stepped up to the plated and crushed a fastball to center for a 7-0 advantage.
Alcantara's first career homer to right scored Coghlan who opened the frame with a single and made it a 7-2 game.
Atlanta made it a 10-2 contest in the seventh. Simmons took a leadoff walk from Zac Rosscup Upton hit a one-out double and Johnson was intentionally walked to load the bases. La Stella hit a line drive to right for a bases- clearing double.
Chicago scored two runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth to get within three. Coghlan crushed a two-run shot to right-center field in the seventh.
In the eighth Ryan Sweeney worked a bases-loaded walk off Shae Simmons and John Baker's two-run double off Jordan Walden to right made it a 10-7 game.
Craig Kimbrel spun a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his league-leading 29th save of the season.
Atlanta suspended second baseman Dan Uggla for the series finale and selected
the contract of infielder Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett ... Cubs
shortstop Starlin Castro played in his 700th career game ... The Braves won
the season series 5-1 ... In the final two games of the set Johnson drove in
seven runs homered three times and scored five runs ... Washington reliever
Tyler Clippard replaced Teheran on the NL All-Star roster due his Sunday