Tigers eliminated from playoff contention after loss to Braves

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-02 18:24:51-04
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday when Julio Teheran matched a career high with 12 strikeouts and Freddie Freeman hit a first-inning sacrifice fly that led the Atlanta Braves to a 1-0 victory in the last game at Turner Field.
While the Braves focused on sending their home of 20 years out in style before moving to a new suburban stadium in 2017, the Tigers hoped to extend this season with a victory.
They needed to win, hope that either Baltimore or Toronto lost, and then win a makeup game against Cleveland on Monday in order to force a tiebreaker for an AL wild card.
Instead, Detroit lost its second straight against the last-place Braves.
After an 18-46 start that included the firing of manager Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta went 50-47 the rest of the way under interim manager Brian Snitker.
Teheran (7-10) lasted seven innings, giving up three hits and a walk before a sellout crowd of 51,220 that included former President Jimmy Carter and Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, who threw out ceremonial first pitches in unison.
Justin Verlander (16-9) allowed six hits in seven innings, walked one intentionally and struck out eight.
Jim Johnson, who agreed to a two-year contract before the game, worked the ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances. He ended Detroit's season by fanning former Braves outfielder Justin Upton on a called third strike with a runner aboard.
Ender Inciarte led off the Atlanta first with a single to left center, and raced around to third when Adonis Garcia followed with another hit. Freddie Freeman brought home the run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Atlanta had a chance to pad its lead in the sixth. Garcia started things with a single, stole second and made it to third on an errant throw by catcher James McCann.
Verlander buckled down, getting Freeman on an infield pop and striking out Matt Kemp. After Nick Markakis was intentionally walked, Verlander fanned Tyler Flowers to end the threat.
The Tigers only real threat off Teheran came in the second, when J.D. Martinez singled and Nick Castellanos walked with one out. McCann struck out and Iglesias popped out to the shortstop.
Detroit OF Ty Collins tripped on a sprinkler head during batting practice Saturday, leaving him with a sprained ankle. He didn't play in the regular-season finale.
Detroit: If the Tigers don't have to play Monday, they will open the 2017 season at the Chicago White Sox on April 3.
Atlanta: The Braves also begin next season April 3, facing the Mets in New York. The first game at SunTrust Park will is set for April 14 against the San Diego Padres.