March 17, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets in the spring training game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Julio Teheran is just the Braves' fifth starter for now. But the rookie showed again Saturday that his upside is much greater than that now that he seems to have put everything together.
"That's a really good arm," Houston manager Bo Porter said.
The rookie right-hander didn't allow a hit over six innings in a 3-2 victory by a Braves split-squad over the Astros and struck out 10 while lowering his ERA for six Grapefruit League outings to 1.04.
Teheran pitched five hitless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 12 and allowed just seven hits over 26 innings this spring while striking out 35 and walking nine.
"My first goal was to make the team from spring training and I did," said Teheran, who was notified he was the fifth starter on Thursday. "That was my motivation."
Two of Teheran's walks along with three of his strikeouts came in the first inning.
"I was trying to be too fine," he said. "But from then I was good. Most of my strikeouts were with the curveball."
The 22-year-old from Colombia struggled last season in Class AAA, but never lost his prospect standing with the Braves.
"You have to give Julio credit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He had some adversity last year and is the better for it. He's matured."
The Braves had just three hits against the Astros, but all were homers. Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis connected in the second inning off Phillip Humber and Jordan Parraz went deep in the fifth off the Astros starter. Gattis has three homers in two games and five for the spring.
Rick Ankiel had both Houston hits, including a two-run homer off Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning.
Prospect shows power potential
Edward Salcedo, borrowed from minor league camp, homered in the eighth and ninth innings as the other Braves split-squad defeated Toronto 10-5 in Dunedin. The Braves (18-11) have 42 homers in 30 Grapefruit League games.
Salcedo's bases-empty homer in the eighth inning gave the Braves the lead and he hit a three-run shot in the ninth. It was the first game this spring for Salcedo, who will start the season at Class AA Mississippi.
Justin Upton had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for the Braves. Reed Johnson had a two-run single.
Sean Gilmartin, the likely starter for Gwinnett's opener at home against Charlotte on April 4, allowed 10 hits and five runs in five innings. Rajai Davis and Melky Cabrera hit home runs.
Medlen to get final tune-up
Kris Medlen will make his sixth and final Grapefruit League start for the Braves today against Washington in Viera and it won't be a normal pull-back final tune-up for the right-hander.
Medlen will be looking for some positive results after giving up 14 hits and nine runs over five innings against Philadelphia on Monday.
"I've never had an outing like that in my life," he said afterwards. "I don't think it's ever good to have one of those."
The Braves' starter for the third game of the regular season against the Phillies in Atlanta on April 4 has a 6.27 ERA this spring. He has struck out 14 and walked only one in 18 innings, but has given up 24 hits.
Medlen was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA after moving into the Braves' rotation last season.