Braves-Athletics Preview (Jul 02, 2017)

BY AP • July 1, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea's last start turned into a high-wire act without a net on Monday against the Houston Astros.

Manaea gave up nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings but allowed only one run and survived to get the win in a 6-4 victory at Minute Maid Park.

"That's exactly what he did, was survive," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I was making a joke, it was like a simulated game where you put two guys on before the inning even started and he had to pitch around those jams, and he did. He's gone through the whole gamut now at this point in time of his career, where he's had good stuff, when he hasn't, when he's had traffic and had to pitch around it.

"He's really becoming a really good pitcher that's been through a lot in a short period of time in his career. He's a guy we really rely on. When he takes the mound we feel like we have a great chance to win. He's accomplished that in a short period of time."

Manaea will make his 15th start of the season on Sunday afternoon against Atlanta at Oakland Coliseum when the A's will try to avoid being swept in the three-game series.

Manaea is 7-4 with a 3.87 ERA, 84 strikeouts and 31 walks in 79 innings. He has more wins, starts and strikeouts than any other A's starter, and he has the highest winning percentage on the staff at .636.

Manaea is 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA in his past eight starts and already has as many wins as he did as a rookie last season when he went 7-9 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 games, including 24 starts.

"Experience definitely plays a huge role," Manaea said before Oakland's 4-3 loss to the Braves. "Last year when I first got called up I didn't really know what I was doing. I was really timid and shy and not going after things. I didn't have the mindset that I'm going to beat you that day. It was just hoping things would work out instead of going out and getting it. That all comes along with experience."

Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, a two-time National League All-Star, will try to get back on track after a nightmare start last Sunday at SunTrust Park against Milwaukee. He gave up seven runs and seven hits in three innings in a 7-0 loss. He's 6-6 with a 5.30 ERA in 16 starts.

"I think he'll be fine," Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Teheran's loss to Milwaukee. "I think he'll go back to work and get on a roll like he was before. Guys are going to have days. He's been on a pretty good run. Hopefully, he'll right the ship here and get back on one."

Pitching on the road should help. Teheran has a 7.58 ERA in nine home starts and a 2.89 ERA in seven road starts. He'll take a five-game road winning streak into Sunday's start.

"I want to keep my mind strong," Teheran said after his last start. "That's how I'm going to turn everything around. We still have a couple months, and a lot of things can happen."

Teheran is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one career start against the A's. Manaea will face the Braves for the first time in his career.

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