video thumbnail

WSH@ATL: Teheran strikes out five over 5 1/3 frames

Showing vast improvement in his last two starts, Braves right-hander Julio Teheran will take the hill on Saturday against the Mets at Turner Field hoping to keep it going.

After allowing 13 runs in his first three starts this season, Teheran has dazzled with his fastball and breaking ball in his last two contests, holding the Rockies and Nationals to just three runs.

While the right-hander allowed 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings to Washington on Monday, only one was an extra-base hit and many of the singles found holes in the infield. He also finished the game with five strikeouts and just one walk.

"He's a kid that we're watching him grow right in front of our eyes," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I said that last year about [Mike] Minor and two years before that it was [Brandon] Beachy."

Meanwhile, Jon Niese gets the nod for the Mets looking to keep up his stellar statistics against the Braves.

Niese dominated the Braves last season, going 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts and holding them to a .175 average.

The left-hander had some of that same magic on Sunday against the Phillies, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. However, he took his second loss of the season in a 5-1 defeat.

While Niese is 2-2 on the season with a 3.31 ERA, he's managed to toss four quality starts in six outings.

Mets: Cowgill optioned
Trying to shake up their anemic offense, New York optioned struggling outfielder Collin Cowgill to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and promoted Andrew Brown.

After hitting a grand slam on Opening Day, Cowgill hit just .130 in 18 games. He had not recorded an extra-base hit since April 6 and made a game-changing mistake on defense that led to an extra-innings loss Monday in Miami.

"Maybe one of the worst things that could have happened was to have him walk right out and hit a homer on Opening Day," manager Terry Collins said. "As I told him, I just thought he was over-swinging. When he got on base, he was dangerous. He just wasn't getting on."

Brown has been heating up with Las Vegas, hitting .367 with two home runs in 25 games, with an .882 OPS against left-handed pitchers. He went 0-for-3 in Friday's 7-5 win over the Braves with a strikeout.

Braves: Heyward expected to take swings on Saturday
Outfielder Jason Heyward is expected to begin taking dry swings with a bat on Saturday, his first baseball activity since having an appendectomy on April 22.

If all goes well, he could begin hitting off a tee, playing catch and jogging as early as Monday. His progress from there will depend on how his body reacts to different challenges.

"As far as the end of May, I'd be disappointed if I had to wait that long," Heyward said. "I want to be back sooner rather than later."

Worth noting
• The Mets and Major League Baseball announced Friday that they will host private screenings of the movie "42" for New York City teenagers involved in YMCA programs. Screenings will take place May 6 at UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas in Queens and May 13 at BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn, with each showing accommodating 300 teens.

• Braves starter Brandon Beachy is scheduled to throw two more live batting practice sessions. If all goes well, he could begin a Minor League rehab assignment late next week or the early portion of the following week. There is a chance he could return to the Atlanta rotation in the middle of June.

MLB.com Comments