Braves’ improving Teheran faces Giants’ slumping Moore (Jun 20, 2017)

ATLANTA — Julio Teheran appears to have righted a season that had gone sideways for the projected Atlanta Braves ace.

The same can’t be said for the San Francisco Giants’ struggling Matt Moore, however.

Teheran (6-4, 4.86 ERA) and Moore (2-7, 6.00 ERA) are the opposing starting pitchers Tuesday night in the second game of a four-game series at SunTrust Park as the Giants try to end a seven-game losing streak.

Teheran, a two-time National League All-Star, allowed just three runs over 13 innings in his two most recent outings after a nine-start stretch where his ERA jumped from 0.95 to 5.40.

Braves manager Brian Snitker, who saw Teheran twice give up seven runs during the dismal stretch, hopes the bad times are all in the past.

The key for the 26-year-old right-hander is being more aggressive and not missing his spots.

“He’s hitting his locations and he’s keeping the ball down,” Snitker said. “He’s on the attack a little more, being the aggressor. Hopefully he builds on this and keeps it going.”

While Teheran is coming off a victory at Washington in which he held the Nationals in check for seven innings, things went from bad to worse for Moore in his past outing at Colorado.

The 28-year-old left-hander gave up eight runs on 11 hits in three innings, with the only positive being his seven strikeouts. Six of the hits came on two-strike pitches as he continuously went deep in the count.

“At times, it felt like they knew what was coming, which is a bad feeling as a pitcher,” said Moore, who was afraid that he might be tipping off pitches.

The Giants are 3-11 in Moore’s starts, including 1-7 on the road.

Part of the problem is that the lefty is allowing left-handed batters to hit .387 (29-for-75) against him.

Teheran, who didn’t pitch when the Braves lost two of three games in a May series at San Francisco, is 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.

Moore, who is facing the Braves for the first time, needs to go as long as possible because the Giants are a man short in the bullpen.

Set-up reliever Hunter Strickland began serving his six-game suspension Monday after his appeal for a reduction of his penalty in the May 29 brawl with Washington’s Bryce Harper was denied.

Strickland has made 30 relief appearances, going 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 10 games finished.

“You always hope for less for the team’s sake,” Strickland said. “I’ve just got to take the consequences.”

The Giants can’t fill in Strickland’s roster spot and will have to play with a 24-man roster until the suspension is over.

“It’s good to finally get this out of the way so we can focus on going forward,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We knew this was coming. We’ll just go a man short in the bullpen.”

That bullpen imploded in the eighth inning of Monday’s 9-0 loss to the Braves, with three relievers giving up seven runs after two outs.

The Giants (26-46) have lost 16 of their past 20 games. The Braves (32-37) have won five of their past seven.