LAWRENCEVILLE — It may not have been to the scale of Tim Hudson for the Atlanta Braves about 30 miles down Interstate 85, but Julio Teheran had a big impact for the Gwinnett Braves both pitching and offensively Monday night against the Syracuse Chiefs.
The 20-year-old right-hander threw eight effective innings in an 8-2 G-Braves victory before 4,087 fans at Coolray Field.
But it was a key plate appearance that contributed equally to the Gwinnett victory.
G-BRAVES 8, CHIEFS 2
• What happened: Julio Teheran was brilliant on the mound, limiting Syracuse to just five hits and two earned runs with eight strikeouts in eight effective innings to improve to 7-1 and end the G-Braves’ three-game losing streak. The G-Braves erupted for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie. Stefan Gartrell was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while J.C. Boscan was 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.
• Key moments: After the G-Braves fell behind 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Teheran remained in the game with two outs and nobody on and drew a walk, and eventually came home on Matt Young’s clutch, opposite-field single to tie the game 2-2.
• Stats of the game: When Chris Marrero’s two-out RBI single tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth, it broke Teheran’s string of 232⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to June 4, a 7-1 G-Braves win over Buffalo at Coolray Field. Boscan had his first two-hit game since May 2, when he had a pair of hits against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His RBI double in the decisive eighth inning marked only his second game all season with an RBI, with the other being April 22 at Norfolk.
• Web gems: Syracuse second baseman Tug Hulett charged a slow roller and flipped it with his glove hand in one motion to edge speedy G-Braves centerfielder Matt Young at first in the third inning. G-Braves first baseman Mauro Gomez then smothered a vicious grounder off the bat of Corey Brown in the eighth inning and flipped to Teheran, who outraced the Chiefs’ centerfielder to the bag for the out.
• On deck: The series with Syracuse continues with a 7:05 first pitch tonight at Coolray Field. The G-Braves are still undecided who their starting pitcher will be, while right-hander J.D. Martin (1-4, 4.94 ERA) gets the start for the Chiefs.
With his team trailing 2-1 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, Teheran (7-1) worked a walk from Syracuse starter Ross Detweiler and eventually came home when Matt Young steered a single between third base and shortstop off reliever and former G-Brave Lee Hyde to bring home Teheran — who had drawn a two-out walk — and tie the game 2-2.
“The first thing (G-Braves manager Dave Brundage) said was, ‘Get on base somehow,’” Teheran said though an interpreter. “Something could happen. When we tied the game, I realized I was going back out (for the eighth), and I got more excited.”
The G-Braves then gave Teheran more to be excited about, erupting for six runs in the bottom of the eighth after Teheran retired Syracuse in order in the top of the inning, ending his day at eight innings with five hits, two earned runs and eight strikeouts with no walks.
“He’s pitched like that his last three or four outings,” Brundage said of Teheran, who gave up hits in just the fourth and seventh innings and retired Syracuse in order in his other six. “He is visibly getting better, visibly commanding all three pitches better.”
The eighth-inning outburst started when the G-Braves reached Chiefs right-hander Hassan Pena (0-4) for four straight hits with one out — three of which went for extra bases, including an RBI triple by Ruben Gotay and a double by J.C. Boscan — to vault into the lead.
“We play the game inning by inning,” said Boscan, who finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI. “Our team has been struggling to score runs. But we play great defense and our pitching has been outstanding, and it’s one of the things we look for every day — trying to get better every time we go to the plate.”
Brandon Hicks, Julio Lugo, Jose Constanza, Young and Stefan Gartrell also had hits in the inning, with Lugo, Constanza and Gartrell each driving in a run as the G-Braves sent 10 men to the plate.
When it was over, six runs had crossed the plate and Teheran’s effort was rewarded with an 8-2 lead that Juan Abreu closed out with a scoreless ninth.
Gartrell also had two hits on the night for the G-Braves and drove in a pair of runs, including a first-inning RBI single.