Teheran, Zimmermann each throw 3 scoreless innings
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Julio Teheran worked around six base runners to match Jordan Zimmermann with three scoreless innings and lead the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
Teheran, who won 14 games as a rookie last season, gave up four hits, walked one, hit another and threw a wild pitch. But he now has five scoreless innings against the Nationals this spring after allowing just one run while winning his final two starts against them last season.
”I was getting a little bit in trouble and just tried to make better pitches,” said Teheran, who threw 36 strikes in 53 pitches. ”My slider was good, but I was missing with my fastball.”
Zimmermann struck out four, giving up two hits and one walk. The 19-game winner from last season struck out Freddie Freeman on a slider with runners on first and third to end his final inning.
Ross Ohlendorf didn’t get an out in his first appearance of the spring for the Nationals, giving up three hits and a walk before leaving with the trainer in the Braves’ two-run sixth because of back spasms.
”He’s pretty locked up right now,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. ”He said he felt it on the first batter and that it got progressively worse.”
Nationals: Zimmermann, who allowed one hit in two scoreless innings against the Braves last Saturday, threw 30 of his 48 pitches for strikes.
”It was good to throw more pitches and build up arm strength,” he said. ”I threw more sliders and mixed in some curveballs. I had a good changeup and got some strikeouts on fastballs, which was good.”
In addition to Freeman, Zimmermann struck out Justin Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward.
”I thought he pitched really well getting out of some jams,” Williams said.
Braves: It seemed as if Teheran was pitching out of trouble his entire outing. Manager Fredi Gonzalez didn’t mind.
”It’s good to have to work with some runners on,” Gonzalez said. ”Julio made some pitches when he had to.”
Braves: Left-hander Mike Minor, shut down after experiencing shoulder soreness at the start of camp, threw off the mound for time this spring on Wednesday and is scheduled to throw again Friday. He still hopes to be ready for the start of the season or shortly afterward. ”I feel good. Just typical soreness,” said Minor, who was 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA last season.
Left-handed reliever Jonny Venters hopes to rejoin the Braves bullpen by June after missing all of last season after a second Tommy John elbow surgery. He threw off the mound for the first time on Wednesday.
”If you would have told me I’d be feeling this good right now, I’d have been excited,” Venters said.
Nationals: Several players have been slowed by flu-like symptoms. Zach Walter remained out, but Jeff Kobernus felt good enough to play against the Braves. Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore missed time earlier.
Veteran left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez, signed to a minor league contract by the Nationals on Tuesday, is scheduled to report to camp on Friday.
”He says he’s ready to go. He’s been throwing,” Williams said.
Gonzalez, who had a 3.03 ERA for Washington in 2012 before signing with Milwaukee as a free agent, will be paid $1.5 million if he makes the team and can earn $750,000 more in incentives.
WALKS FOR A CAUSE
Not just the Braves will benefit from drawing walks this season. The team is joining with the Cindy Donald Foundation’s Walks for Recovery to help provide financial assistance to individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries. Fans and corporations are being encouraged to make donations for every time the Braves walks – they walked 542 times last year.
”This is something special to my heart,” said Gonzalez, who appeared with Donald at the announcement. A native of Marietta, Ga., she was paralyzed from the neck down while in college.