Wearing a 1914 throwback uniform to commemorate the World Series-winning Boston Braves, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran delivers to the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Photo: Dave Tulis
Photo: Dave Tulis

Teheran making those who stray off first base pay

Runners beware when Julio Teheran is on the mound.

The Braves’ right-hander has picked off three runners in his past two starts to give him five for the season and 13 over the past two seasons.

Teheran picked off Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford on Aug. 11 and the A’s Josh Reddick in the second inning Saturday. The five pickoffs lead the Braves and ranks tied for third in the major leagues this season.

Only Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner (14) has more pickoffs that Teheran over the past two seasons. No other right-hander has more than six during that span.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had high praise for his ace.

“Maybe the best I’ve ever seen,” Gonzalez said of the right-hander’s move to first base. “You’ve seen some pretty good left-handed ones, (Andy) Pettitte, Bumgarner and those guys, but as far as a right-hander it’s pretty good.”

Gonzalez said there are two factors in Teheran’s success – his quick feet and short throwing motion to first base.

“Some guys have quick feet but it takes them a long time to get the ball to first base,” Gonzalez said. “He has both. He has the combination of quick feet and a short arm.”

As a staff, the Braves entered Sunday tied for fourth in the major leagues with 14 pickoffs. They trailed on the Pirates (18), Angels (14) and Giants (14). Left-hander Alex Wood has three pickoffs this season for the Braves.

“When I see that (the runner) is getting a big lead, I try to make my best move,” Teheran said Saturday.

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