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Braves rookie Teheran starting to shine on mound

Braves pitcher Julio Teheran has given up just 13 runs in his last eight starts after a shaky start to the season.

Braves pitcher Julio Teheran has given up just 13 runs in his last eight starts after a shaky start to the season.

ATLANTA — The impressive results that rookie Julio Teheran put up in spring training didn’t carry over to his first three starts of the regular season.

Had the 22-year-old native of Colombia failed to make the breakthrough the Braves had thought?

No one is questioning Teheran now, though. The right-hander has just kept getting better and better over his past eight starts.

“My confidence is the best thing that I have this year,” said Teheran, who will face the Padres in San Diego on Monday in his next start. “I feel good out there. All my pitches are working good.”

They certainly were against the Pirates on Wednesday, when he didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the eighth inning and struck out a career-best 11.

“He definitely had good enough stuff to throw a no-hitter,” catcher Gerald Laird said. “He pretty much was doing anything he wanted out there.”

Teheran’s prospect status sank a little after a difficult second season in Triple-A last year. But the Braves told other teams that he was still off limits after watching him rebound in the Dominican Winter League.

Now it is easy to see why he was untouchable.

“I think he probably opened up some eyes across the country,” second baseman Dan Uggla said after the near no-hitter. “Let everyone know that he’s for real.”

Actually, he had already been doing that.

Teheran allowed just one run over seven innings on a sub-freezing day in Colorado on April 23 and has been red-hot since. That started a streak of seven quality starts in eight games and he didn’t allow more than three runs in any of the games.

Teheran took a shutout into the ninth inning on May 20 before allowing a home run in a victory over Minnesota and struck out nine against Washington on May 31.

His 4-2 record and 3.30 ERA don’t show just how well Teheran has pitched. After allowing 13 earned runs over 16 innings in those first three starts, he has given up just 13 over 55 innings in the eight starts since.

Brandon Beachy is expected back from Tommy John surgery on June 18, but a spot for Teheran in the rotation isn’t in jeopardy.