Braves right-hander Julio Teheran’s fastball velocity is down a tick, hitters don’t swing and miss it a lot and when they make contact it’s a fly ball a relatively high percentage of the time. All of those things have been true for a while with Teheran but now he’s playing home games at SunTrust Park, where pitchers with that profile can find trouble.
The Brewers are the latest visitors to take advantage. They bashed two early home against Teheran on the way to a 7-0 victory over the Braves on Sunday.
Teheran had been better in his past three home starts but he has a 7.58 ERA there after the Brewers touched him for seven earned runs over three-plus innings. Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the first, Keon Broxton hit a solo shot in the second and the Brewers added three runs in the third.
Teheran lasted just three innings for the second time this season, the shortest outings of his career.
“I didn’t have my fastball today,” Teheran said. “But you know they are a very good-hitting team (with) a pretty good lineup. Whenever they see a guy like that missing his spots and falling behind (in the count) they are going to take advantage. It wasn’t my best, but I was competing.”
The Braves (36-39) ended a good home stand on the sour note of their fifth shutout defeat of the season. They went 7-3 on the stand and took two of three games against the Brewers (41-37) for their fourth straight series victory.
The Braves are off on Monday before playing at San Diego and Oakland.
“It was a great home stand but today it just didn’t work,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Tehran has now allowed 13 home runs over 46 1/3 innings at home. That’s a big reason why he entered Sunday with a 6.65 ERA at home, second-worst among major league starters. Teheran has a 2.89 ERA on the road, where he’s allowed six home runs over 43 2/3 innings.
“Julio has been great lately,” Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte said. “Today we couldn’t come back and he struggled at the beginning. But he knows what he’s doing. He’s working on it and we know what he’s got. He is going to make the adjustment he’s got to make and he’s going to be there for us when we most need him.”
Teheran got a bit unlucky on Broxton’s homer, which just cleared the 16-foot wall in right field. But Shaw smashed Teheran’s fastball an estimated 429 feet to right field—the ball landed on the roof of the two-story structure that houses eating and drinking establishments.
Teheran retired the first two batters in the third inning before the next five reached base on three singles and two walks. Hernan Perez’s hit scored one run and Broxton’s scored two.
The Brewers six runs against Teheran with two outs. Perez and Broxton had two strikes against them when they hit the RBI singles.
“Today was one of those days,” Teheran said. “I was trying to command and execute the next pitch and I just couldn’t. Pretty much I got hit late in the innings with two outs or two strikes and that’s kind of hard. But we are going to work on it and we’ll see what’s going to happen in (the next start) in Oakland. We’ve got five days to work on it and I think we are going to be good.”
Brewers pitcher Zach Davies doubled to lead off the fourth, prompting manager Brian Snitker to pull Teheran for Luke Jackson. Domingo Santana extended the lead to 7-0 with a one-out sacrifice fly RBI that was charged to Teheran.
The Braves’ bullpen didn’t allow an earned run over the final six innings but the 7-0 deficit was way too much to overcome. The Braves entered the game with the second-most runs scored in the NL this month but could do little against Davies.
Davies held the Braves to four hits (all singles) and a walk over seven innings while allowing just one base runner past first base. That player, Matt Adams, got picked off second base by Brewers catcher Manny Pina for for the second out of the second inning. Johan Camargo singled before Teheran grounded out to end the inning with two runners stranded.
The Braves left one runner on base in the first, fourth and fifth innings and Davies retired the Braves in order in the sixth and seventh.
“He was just trying to attack the strike zone quick against everybody and we were just missing our pitch,” Inciarte said. “We’ve been swinging the bat good and it’s hard to stay consistent like that every day. Hopefully Tuesday we will make some adjustments and start winning some series again.”
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