Teheran steps toward Opening Day with solid effort
Right-hander delivers six innings of two-run ball against Verlander's Tigers
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With the start of the regular season a little more than a week away, Julio Teheran and Justin Verlander indicated they are ready to make their respective Opening Day starts.
Verlander delivered five scoreless innings and Ezequiel Carrera highlighted a two-run fourth inning with a double that propelled the Tigers to a 3-0 win over the Braves on Friday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Teheran surrendered just two hits and was perfect in four of his six innings. But the right-hander paid for the mistake he made in the fourth, which began with Ian Kinsler drawing a walk. Carrera followed with a double to right field and then advanced to third base on an errant fastball that nearly hit Miguel Cabrera in the head before traveling to the backstop.
"I felt good," Teheran said. "It was just one bad inning and a couple of mistakes that I made. After that, I felt good. I was getting stronger."
After gaining a bigger cushion when Carrera scored on a Victor Martinez groundout, Verlander completed his strong five-inning effort, during which he scattered five hits and notched four strikeouts. The ace pitched around Jason Heyward's leadoff single in the first and escaped threats in the second and fifth innings.
Philip Gosselin doubled with one out in the second inning and then advanced to third base when Tyler Greene followed with a single. Greene got picked off when he raced toward second base after Verlander made a pickoff throw to third.
The first of Ramiro Pena's two doubles and a Teheran single helped the Braves load the bases with two outs in the fifth inning. But that threat ended with B.J. Upton grounding out to Kinsler at second.
Up next: Alex Wood is scheduled to complete at least five innings on Saturday, when the Braves host the Red Sox at Champion Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Wood appears set to fill the second spot in the four-man rotation Atlanta plans to use through most of the first two weeks of the regular season. This will be the first time since 2009 the Red Sox have traveled to play the Braves in a Spring Training game.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.