SEATTLE – Julio Teheran got rocked and the reeling Braves lost again Wednesday against the Mariners to complete a winless eight-game road trip the likes of which the franchise had not seen since Del Crandall was a 19-year-old rookie catcher and the pitching staff featured Spahn and Sain.
Their 7-3 loss at Safeco Field left the Braves winless in Seattle — after going winless at Los Angeles and San Diego – and capped just the second all-losing road trip of eight games or more in franchise history and first since an 0-8 trek by the 1949 Boston Braves. That team featured 21-game winner Warren Spahn but not much in the way of offense.
The current Braves have a frequently dysfunctional offense and a pitching staff led by Teheran (10-8), who has not been nearly as good on the road as at Turner Field. He blew a 3-1 lead Wednesday and gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings, slipping to 2-5 with a 5.64 ERA in his past seven road starts.
The Braves have gone 9-18 in their past 27 games, totaling three runs or fewer 17 times in that period including each of the last seven games on the road trip. They scored 18 runs on the eight-game trip and didn’t homer in the last six games.
Now they go home for a daunting 10-game homestand against a trio of first-place teams beginning Friday with a three-game series against rival Washington, which led the Braves by 3 ½ games before the Nationals’ Wednesday night game against the Mets.
It could be a make-or-break homestand for the Braves, who will follow the Nationals series with four games against the Dodgers and three against the Athletics, who have baseball’s best record.
After blowing a 1-0 lead and giving up three unearned runs in a 4-2 loss against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in Tuesday’s series opener, the Braves took a 3-1 lead in the third inning Wednesday on Tommy La Stella’s two-out, bases-loaded walk and Freddie Freeman’s two-run double.
Teheran gave the lead right back in the bottom of the inning by allowing four runs on four hits including home runs by Dustin Ackley and Logan Morrison, the latter a three-run shot with two out. Ackley homered on a 1-2 slider to start the inning after Teheran had gotten ahead in the count 0-2.
Teheran is 6-7 with 4.27 ERA in 13 road starts, compared to 4-1 with 1.48 ERA in 11 home starts.
He is 4-6 with a 5.20 ERA in his past 10 road starts, and allowed five or more runs in four of those games. Teheran was charged with 72 hits (nine homers) and 36 earned runs in 62 1/3 innings of those 10 games.
The staggering Braves need to get it together for a homestand that begins with Alumni Weekend, during which they will honor Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. None of that trio, nor any of nearly 50 Braves alums who’ll be on hand, was ever part of a winless Braves trip as long as the one that ended Wednesday.
In fact, no other team in the nearly 140-year history of the franchise ever was, except those ‘49 Braves.
For a full write-thru version of this story including postgame quotes, please go to MyAJC.com or use this link.