Long wait over, Teheran happy with outing

Braves righty able to utilize all of his pitches in first start since July 30

Long wait over, Teheran happy with outing

ATLANTA -- For 20 days, Julio Teheran waited.

On the disabled list for the first time in his Major League career, the Braves right-hander was forced to sit out 16 games as he recovered from a right lat strain that derailed him in his final two July starts.

But on Friday night at Turner Field, the 25-year-old's wait finally came to an end, as he took the mound and allowed three runs on six hits across five innings in a 7-6 loss to the Nationals.

"I feel pretty good, and I know it wasn't my best," Teheran said. "But I was able to compete. Whenever you're able to compete, you feel good because you're giving everything.

"I felt pretty good today, and I was trying to hold the other team and give my team a chance to score some runs. At the end we did, and I'm glad I did my job."

Trea Turner welcomed Teheran back with a leadoff double and later scored on Bryce Harper's RBI groundout. But after giving up a double to Wilson Ramos in the ensuing at-bat, the right-hander retired nine of the next 11 batters.

Then came the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first, Washington registered three straight singles, including two bloopers, to seize a 3-0 lead before Teheran escaped a bases-loaded jam on a force out at second.

The All-Star tossed 31 pitches in the frame, increasing his total to 90 before exiting the contest.

"I thought he was good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I thought he got better as the game went, loosened up, started trusting things and battled well. I would've liked to have been able to run him back out there, but after the stress he had to get out of that fifth inning, I thought that was good enough."

Teheran's fastball hovered in the upper 80s and topped out at 92 when he struck out Jayson Werth in the fourth. But like he did in his lone rehab outing for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, he felt comfortable throwing all of his pitches.

"Whenever you're facing a different team, you've got to use different pitches," Teheran said. "I used more of my changeup today and my curveball. I didn't go to use my slider that much, but it's a different game and we'll see how I feel for my next one."

For nearly seven weeks, Teheran's schedule has been off-kilter. His final two starts before the All-Star break were affected by a thigh infection, and the lat strain led to early exits in his final two starts before landing on the DL.

But now that he's healthy, Atlanta's ace hopes to build upon his success from the first three months, when he posted a 2.46 ERA and limited hitters to a .183 batting average.

"Julio, coming off the DL, was big for us getting five innings under his belt," first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "It's going to be good for us going down the stretch and hopefully we can lengthen him out and get some more quality starts out of him."

Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.