0

Braves’ Teheran tunes up for opening day

Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran next start will be opening day on Monday against Milwaukee. (Reuters)

Atlanta Braves pitcher Julio Teheran next start will be opening day on Monday against Milwaukee. (Reuters)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Julio Teheran worked out of a couple of jams, didn’t issue any unintentional walks, gave up two runs in six innings, and struck out nine batters including two apiece in three different innings in his final spring-training start on Wednesday.

In short, the Braves pitcher looked ready for his opening day start.

“I felt good out there, I felt strong,” Teheran said after allowing seven hits and one intentional walk in a 9-2 win against the Marlins at Champion Stadium, the Braves’ next-to-last Grapefruit League game before they break camp and head north.

Teheran’s next start will be opening day Monday against the Brewers in Milwaukee, the first opening-day start of his professional career. He had a 1.80 ERA in six spring starts, allowing 20 hits, five runs and four walks with 26 strikeouts in 25 innings.

“Julio’s ready, he’s good,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose Braves finished the Florida exhibition schedule with a game against the Tigers Thursday in Lakeland, then will play a game against a team of their top prospects Saturday in Rome.

“He minimized the damage in the first inning, gave up one run. Did a nice job. And we got him all the way to 100 pitches. Now he’s ready to go in Milwaukee.”

On an unseasonably cool (57 degrees), blustery day in Central Florida, Teheran allowed a leadoff single and bloop double over first base by the first two batters, then went strikeout, sacrifice fly and strikeout to the next three. The Marlins got their other run on a pair of doubles in the sixth inning.

“The weather changed a little bit,” said the 23-year-old Colombian, who said he put the conditions out of his mind after the first couple of hits. “At first I was getting behind in counts a little, gave up a couple of base hits. But I feel good. I feel ready for the season. Today I used more my breaking pitch (slider), and it was very good.”