Julio Teheran pitched two scoreless innings in the Atlanta Braves‘ 9-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. It was the first game action for Teheran this spring training who figures to win the fifth starting spot in the rotation. Teheran issued a walk and also hit a batter but did not allow a hit and struck out two men. He did so with 15 pitches, nine of which were strikes. Outings like these will be important for him to regain his confidence in his mechanics as he nears a starting spot.
Teheran’s main competition for that fifth spot will likely be Sean Gilmartin, who also had a strong showing on Sunday. Gilmartin relieved Teheran in the third and threw two scoreless innings of his own – allowing a hit and striking out two on 12 pitches (11 strikes). The polished left-hander proved effective working both sides of the plate with all his pitches. Gilmartin will look to keep the pressure on Teheran this spring.
The most disappointing performance for the Braves on Sunday was Jonny Venters‘ outing. Venters allowed a two-run homer in the fifth inning and gave up a total of three hits in his lone inning of work. Venters says his arm feels fine, but getting knocked around is a troubling first outing.
Jason Heyward recorded his first hit and home run of the spring with a sixth inning shot over the center field wall. After going 0-2 on Friday, Heyward finished 1-2 and also reached base with a walk in three plate appearances. Jordan Schafer scored the Braves’ final run following a Tyler Pastornicky hit.
Third Base Competition: Juan Francisco got the start and went 0-3 with a strikeout. Chris Johnson did not play.
Strikeout Watch: The Braves struck out eight times on Sunday. Spring training total is now 21.
Upton Brothers: B.J. Upton finished 2-3 with a double and single. Justin Upton was 0-3 with a strikeout.
Up Next: Kris Medlen takes the hill on Monday against the Miami Marlins.