CHICAGO — Jeff Francoeur has been around long enough to know a starting pitcher throwing in front of his family and friends may not always go smoothly.
For Mike Foltynewicz, it couldn’t have gone much better.
Foltynewicz allowed five hits in seven innings, Francoeur and Jace Peterson homered and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Sunday.
Foltynewicz (3-3), who grew up in the far southwest suburbs of Chicago, had a career-high 10 strikeouts and no walks. He struck out the side in the seventh on 12 pitches.
“Especially with family and friends being here, growing up close to here, sometimes that can backfire and you try too hard,” Francoeur said. “He was composed, pitched great and we said coming into spring I felt like he was the one wild card on this team we hadn’t seen what he could do yet.”
The 24-year-old right-hander won for the first time since beating the Giants on May 30. He was placed on the disabled list on June 4 with a bone spur and made his third start since returning.
He met with his family and friends after the win.
“I just really put my mind on to stay aggressive. It’s a really aggressive hitting team. Day games they will probably be swinging even more, so just let the defense do the work and when I got ahead I finally put them away today,” Foltynewicz said.
Foltynewicz threw a 98 mph fastball by Dioner Navarro on his final pitch for his 10th strikeout.
“God almighty that was a little glimpse of what he’s capable of. That was electric the entire day,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “He was under control, couldn’t wait to get the ball back early in the game and he started kind of collecting himself really good and breathing, and that stuff was really, really good.”
Chris Withrow pitched a scoreless eighth for the Braves and Jim Johnson finished for his second save in four chances.
White Sox starter James Shields (4-10) allowed six hits, including both homers, in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out two and fell to 2-3 with Chicago.
“I think by today, you are looking at him and like the way he was throwing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Velocity was up. There was a couple that got in there, but in this ballpark, a couple of solos is going to happen every once in a while. As far as being able to grit through it and throw strikes, he was there.”
The White Sox were denied their sixth straight series win after dropping two of three.
After retiring the first four batters, Shields was tagged for a solo shot by Francoeur in the second inning. It was Francoeur’s fifth of the season and second in two days. An inning later, Shields gave up another home run to Peterson, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. It was Peterson’s fourth of the season.
A.J. Pierzynski hit his 400th career double in the fifth inning. He became the fourth catcher in major league history with 400 or more doubles.
Braves: C Tyler Flowers reported improvement in his strained left hand. He received treatment before the game and was scheduled to be re-examined in Atlanta during the All-Star break next week. He will undergo an MRI on Monday. He was hurt when Miami Marlins pitcher A.J. Ramos struck him on the hand with a pitch the previous weekend. The injury was aggravated on a checked swing in the second inning on Saturday. … Closer Arodys Vizcaino wasn’t available because skin irritation on his right elbow. Snitker expects him to be available after the break.
White Sox: 1B/DH Justin Morneau is 2 for 17 in his rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox signed Morneau on June 9 as he recovers from offseason left elbow surgery. There is still no timetable for his White Sox debut.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana has replaced Cleveland’s Danny Salazar on the AL All-Star roster. A first-time All-Star, Quintana is 7-8 with a 3.21 ERA, sixth-best in the AL at the start of Sunday. He joins teammate Chris Sale on the AL roster.
Braves: Atlanta will make a decision on Friday’s starter after the All-Star Game on Tuesday. If RHP Julio Teheran (3-8), who was selected as a member of the NL All-Star team, doesn’t pitch on Tuesday, he will likely start on Friday against Colorado.
White Sox: Quintana (7-8) was tentatively scheduled to start on Friday after the break at the Angels before he was announced to the All-Star roster. Now that he was named to the team Ventura will go with RHP Miguel Gonzalez on Friday and Shields on Saturday.