Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Gwinnett Braves Jose Constanza (17) congratulates Luis Durango (30) after scoring the first run of the game in the first inning against the Durham Bulls during opening day at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on April 12, 2012.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- After a rough spring training and an even rougher first regular season start, fans at the Gwinnett Braves' home opener got to the Julio Teheran they were used to seeing.
The 21-year-old right-hander threw five shutout innings and Jose Constanza and J.C. Boscan each drove in a pair of runs as the G-Braves opened their home season with a 7-1 win over the Durham Bulls before 4,699 fans Thursday at Coolray Field.
It was a strong rebound after he surrendered three runs on three hits over 1 innings in his season-opening outing against the same Bulls last week in Durham, N.C.
"I was proud of him (Thursday) night after his outing five days ago against the same ball club, too," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said of Teheran, who came back to Gwinnett after losing the battle with Randall Delgado for the No. 5 spot in the Atlanta Braves' starting rotation during spring training. "To come back and rebound (after such an outing), it's like something I'd never seen. (Thursday) night, I thought he was much more focused. His concentration level (was better). He pitched (Thursday) night."
He looked in control throughout much of his 85-pitch outing over five innings, during which he gave up just three hits and no earned runs with four strikeouts against two walks.
The G-Braves quickly gave Teheran a lead play executing A-B-C baseball in the bottom of the first.
Luis Durango drew a four-pitch, leadoff walk and stole second before advancing to third on Constanza's sacrifice bunt and then coming home on Drew Sutton's RBI single to put Gwinnett up 1-0.
The G-Braves let an opportunity to build on that lead slip away after a nearly identical set-up in the third -- this time, a leadoff, infield single and another stolen base by Durango, followed by another sac bunt by Contanza -- in the third.
But they didn't let an even better scoring opportunity escape the following inning.
Ernesto Mejia drew a leadoff walk from reliever Ryan Reid, and infield hits by Joey Terdoslavich and Jordan Parraz loaded the bases with nobody out.
Reid got one out when he snagged Josh Wilson's vicious line drive up the middle, but Boscan followed by sending a single through the hole between first and second to bring home Mejia and Terdoslavich and push the G-Braves' lead to 3-0.
Durango was robbed by a diving Durham shortstop Tim Beckham on a ball up the middle, but he earned an RBI when Beckham could only manage a force out at second, which extended the Gwinnett lead to 4-0.
Durham got one of those runs after Teheran departed from the game in the sixth on Matt Mangini's RBI single, but lefty Dustin Hughes escaped further damage by striking out Kyle Hudson to strand the bases loaded.
Constanza then fully regained momentum for the G-Braves with a two-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the inning, while a pair of errors on an attempted double steal by Drew Sutton and Constanza extended the lead to 7-1.