Braves 3, Astros 2
This is how Julio Teheran won a spot in the Atlanta Braves’
The rookie right-hander struck out 10 in six hitless innings and
Dan Uggla hit one of three homers for a split-squad of Braves, who
beat the Houston Astros 3-2 on Saturday.
Teheran, Atlanta’s fifth starter, walked three while lowering
his ERA to 1.04 in six starts.
”That’s a really good arm,” Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Teheran also pitched five hitless innings against St. Louis on
March 12. He has allowed just seven hits over 26 innings this
spring while striking out 35 and walking nine.
”My first goal was to make the team from spring training and I
did,” said Teheran, who was notified he made the rotation on
Thursday. ”That was my motivation.”
Two of Teheran’s walks and three of his strikeouts came in the
”I was trying to be too fine,” he said. ”But from then I was
good. Most of my strikeouts were with the curveball.”
The 22-year-old right-hander from Colombia struggled last season
in Triple-A, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks he learned
from the experience.
”You have to give Julio credit,” Gonzalez said. ”He had some
adversity last year and is the better for it. He’s matured.”
The Astros had just one hit until the ninth inning, when Rick
Ankiel belted a two-run homer off Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.
Ankiel also had Houston’s other hit, a single in the seventh
inning. The outfielder, in camp on a minor league deal, is batting
.361 (13 for 36) this spring.
Evan Gattis and Uggla went deep in the second inning and Jordan
Parraz connected in the fifth against Astros starter Phillip
It was the third homer in two games for Gattis, who has five
this spring and is bidding to win a job as the Braves’ backup
Humber, who will start the Astros’ third game of the season,
allowed no other hits in his six innings. He struck out four and
”The solo homers usually don’t beat you,” Porter said. ”He
left a couple of balls up.”
Humber, who fell on hard times after pitching a perfect game for
the Chicago White Sox last season, had allowed just two hits over
nine scoreless innings in his previous two Grapefruit League
It was home run or nothing for the Braves, who didn’t have any
Atlanta should have plenty of power this year with the addition
of brothers Justin and B.J. Upton, and they’re off to a nice start
this spring. Saturday’s other split-squad went deep twice in a 10-5
victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, giving the team 42
home runs in 30 Grapefruit League games.
NOTES: 1B Nate Freiman, a Rule 5 selection by the Astros from
San Diego, was claimed off waivers by Oakland. … Braves C Brain
McCann, rehabbing from right shoulder surgery, will be able to bat
in simulated games by the middle of next week, general manager
Frank Wren said. McCann won’t be cleared for full game action until
at least April 16 – six months after his surgery. … RHP Kris
Medlen will make his sixth and final Grapefruit League start for
the Braves on Sunday against Washington in Viera. He gave up 14
hits and nine runs in five innings on Monday against Philadelphia.
… Astros RF Fernando Martinez, who had to leave a game a week ago
with back tightness, played four innings and was 0 for 2.