ATLANTA — Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves, boosted by Julio Teheran's sharp outing, beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Saturday in a matchup of NL division leaders.
Teheran allowed two hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.
Simmons' bases-loaded, two-out double came on a 99 mph fastball from Trevor Rosenthal.
Randy Choate (1-1) walked Freddie Freeman to open the eighth. Evan Gattis struck out and Brian McCann singled. Rosenthal relieved and struck out Dan Uggla before walking Chris Johnson to load the bases.
Luis Avilan (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Craig Kimbrel recorded three outs to earn his 30th save.
Cardinals starter Joe Kelly pitched 6 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and walking three.
Kelly, making only his fourth start of the season and first appearance since July 12, matched Teheran through the sixth before finding trouble in the seventh.
With one out, Simmons singled and moved to third on pinch-hitter Joey Terdoslavich's soft double to the left-center gap.
Kelly issued an intentional walk to Jason Heyward to load the bases. Right-hander Michael Maness replaced Kelly and got Justin Upton to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Teheran allowed a two-out double to Matt Holliday in the first and then walked Allen Craig. The right-hander permitted only one baserunner — Jon Jay doubled in the fifth — through the next six innings.
Holliday was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game. He had been out since July 12 with a strained right hamstring.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez juggled his lineup. Heyward hit leadoff for only the second game this season. Upton, normally the No. 3 hitter, batted second for the first time in 2013.
Gonzalez said he wanted Freeman, his most consistent hitter, to hit third so he would be certain of having an at-bat in the first inning. Gattis hit cleanup for the second straight game.
"I'm just kind of tinkering," Gonzalez said. "I haven't tinkered in a while."
NOTES: The Cardinals optioned OF-1B Brock Peterson to Triple-A Memphis to clear a roster spot for Holliday. ... Gonzalez said he is 95 percent certain RHP Brandon Beachy, returning from elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will come off the DL to start Monday night's game against Colorado. ... The three-game series ends Sunday night when Atlanta RHP Kris Medlen faces St. Louis rookie RHP Shelby Miller.