Johnson's homer spoils Garza's Milwaukee debut
MILWAUKEE—Atlanta pitcher Aaron Harang and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Matt Garza had no-hit bids until Chris Johnson homered with two outs in the seventh inning, sending the Braves to a 1-0 victory Wednesday.
Harang (1-0) didn’t allow a hit until Logan Schafer grounded a single leading off the bottom of the seventh.
Making his Braves’ debut, Harang gave up two hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out three and walked one, throwing 63 of 97 pitches for strikes. He had spent most of spring training with Cleveland on a minor league contract, then signed with the Braves on March 24 after a series of injuries to Atlanta pitchers.
Relievers Luis Avilan, David Carpenter and Craig Kimbrel were hitless, with Kimbrel getting three outs for his second save.
Garza (0-1) made his Milwaukee debut after signing a $50 million, four-year contract as a free agent. He allowed one run and two hits in eight innings, struck out seven and walked none, throwing 65 of 90 pitches for strikes.
Garza had struggled during spring training, going 1-3 with an 8.80 ERA in five outings. But he was sharp against the Brewers, retiring 11 in a row before walking Freddie Freeman.
This marked the first time both starting pitchers in a big league game had not allowed a hit through six innings since June 13, 2010, when Ted Lilly of the Cubs and Gavin Floyd of the White Sox accomplished the feat, according to STATS. Alfonso Soriano doubled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and scored on Chad Tracy’s single, and Lilly didn’t allow a hit until pinch-hitter Juan Pierre’s leadoff single in the ninth. The Cubs won 1-0.
Harang retired his first seven batters before walking Lyle Overbay, then retired 10 in a row before Schafer’s single.
Garza hit a dribbler in front of the plate in the sixth that Harang fielded cleanly and threw to first for the out. Gomez followed with a drive down the left-field line that hooked foul, then struck out.
Jason Heyward’s diving catch of a Ryan Braun liner to right in the fourth kept Harang’s no-hit bid intact.
NOTES: The Brewers start a six-game trip Friday to Boston and Philadelphia. ... The Braves have Thursday off, then are at Washington on Friday in the Nationals’ opener.