Teheran looks ready for opening day; Braves lose

Julio Teheran is in line to start opening day for the Braves, and once again Friday he looked ready for the assignment.

Teheran was charged with two runs, two hits and one walk and struck out four in six innings of a 2-0 split-squad loss to the Tigers. He retired the first seven and last nine batters he faced, was perfect in four innings and recorded 18 outs in 20 batters.

The Braves were shut out in their other split-squad game Friday, too, an 8-0 loss to the Orioles in which reliever Anthony Varvaro gave up four hits and five runs and walked two in one inning.

“Teheran was outstanding,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who’s expected to announce Saturday that Teheran will start the March 31 opener at Milwaukee.

In five Grapefruit League starts, Teheran has allowed 13 hits and three runs and walked three, with 17 strikeouts, in 19 innings (1.42 ERA).

The Braves had five hits in five innings against Detroit’s Justin Verlander, but failed to score after putting two on with one out in the second inning and loading the bases with two out in the fifth.

They totaled 14 hits to their opponents’ 13 on Friday, but were outscored 11-0 by the Tigers and Orioles.

The Tigers’ runs came in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk by Ian Kinsler, who stole second base and scored on Ezequiel Carerra’s double. After a wild pitch high-and-in to Miguel Cabrera advanced the runner, Teheran struck out Cabrera.

With the infield in, Victor Martinez hit a sharp grounder that nearly knocked shortstop Tyler Greene off his feet as he fielded it. With little chance for a play at the plate, he opted for the out at first.

Gattis still out: Braves catcher Evan Gattis was out of the lineup Friday for the third consecutive game since straining the quadriceps muscle in his right thigh.

He hasn’t played since Monday, when he hurt the leg while scoring from first base on Dan Uggla’s triple against the Astros. Gattis stayed in and legged out a double in his next at-bat before leaving the game.

The Braves were off Tuesday, and Gattis was scratched from the lineup Wednesday. He wasn’t in the lineup Thursday or Friday and is questionable this weekend.

The Braves have characterized his absence as precautionary, and Gattis said he could play if it were the regular season.

“It’s just a little tight,” he said. “I thought that off day would take care of it, but it was still tight. … They’re taking it slow. Whenever I came in and told them I needed a day, they said it’s probably not going to be only one. Just because (they are) not going to have you go out and hurt it worse. Quads are apparently slow (to heal). If you hurt it bad, it’s four to six (weeks).”

Etc.: Sidearmer Gus Schlosser, a bullpen candidate, pitched four strong innings against the Orioles, allowing one hit and one run with no walks and three strikeouts. … Left-handed relief hopefuls Ian Thomas, Ryan Buchter and Atahualpa Severino pitched against Detroit, with Thomas and Severino working a scoreless inning apiece and drawing praise from Gonzalez.

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