Triple-A Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage faced a tough decision in yesterday's game against visiting Syracuse. Braves starter Julio Teheran had delivered seven quality innings, but the club trailed 2-1 when the righthander's spot in the batting order came up with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh inning. Working against Teheran was the fact that he had allowed the go-ahead run in the top half of the frame.
A two-out rally seemed unlikely, but visions of a game-tying pinch-hit home run must have crossed Brundage's mind. On the other hand, Teheran had stifled International League competition in June (0.93 ERA in four starts), so the skipper decided to stick with his ace, letting him face Chiefs starter Ross Detwiler.
"The first thing (Brundage) said was, 'Get on base somehow.' Something could happen," Teheran told the Gwinnett Daily Post through an interpreter. The 20-year-old Colombian obliged, drawing a two-out walk against Detwiler and eventually coming around to score the tying run on a single by center fielder Matt Young. (In case you're curious, Teheran now has one single, one walk and no sacrifices in 11 Triple-A plate appearances this season.)
"When we tied the game, I realized I was going back out (for the eighth), and I got more excited," said Teheran, who promptly retired Syracuse in order in the eighth. Gwinnett put the game away with six runs in their half of the eighth.
Teheran threw 67 of 98 pitches for strikes, finishing with eight whiffs, no walks (for the third straight start) and just five hits allowed in eight innings. He allowed two runs but gave up hits only in the fourth and seventh innings.
"He’s pitched like that his last three or four outings," Brundage told the Post. "He is visibly getting better, visibly commanding all three pitches better."
Few pitchers have been more effective than Teheran in June. He has more starts (four) than runs allowed (three). He's allowed 16 hits in 29 innings to go with an exemplary 27-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. With his performance yesterday he assumed the IL lead for ERA, moving ahead of teammate Mike Minor by a 1.83 to 2.23 count. Teheran also leads IL starters in WHIP (0.98) and ranks second in opponent average (.212) to Pawtucket's Andrew Miller.
• Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre righthander Adam Warren struck out a season-high eight Norfolk batters over seven shutout innings yesterday in his best start of the year. He lost a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning by allowing successive singles to third baseman Josh Bell and right fielder Rhyne Hughes, the only two hits he would allow. "I definitely knew I had (a no-hitter) at that point, but I took it as a challenge and didn’t try to be nervous,” Warren told the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. “Just going out there getting ahead of guys is huge for me. I think it’s just how baseball works. If you get ahead of guys you can really play around with them, but if you’re behind you have to throw the pitch they’re looking for, a fastball.” A Yankees fourth-round pick from North Carolina in 2009, Warren has delivered three straight ace turns, going 3-0, 0.78 for Scranton with 16 strikeouts and just 11 hits allowed in his last 23 innings.
Warren has it in for the Orioles, apparently. While pitching for Double-A Trenton last Aug. 18, Warren struck out 15 batters over seven, two-hit innings against Bowie, like Norfolk, a Baltimore affiliate.
• Two of the Mets' brightest prospects helped the high Class A St. Lucie club claim a spot in the Florida State League playoffs. With an 11-inning, 3-2 win against Charlotte yesterday, the Mets clinched the Southern Division's first-half title with a 36-32 record. Right fielder Cesar Puello went 3-for-5 and struck the walk-off RBI double, his 12th of the season. Righthander Matt Harvey started and allowed two runs over six innings. After the game he learned that a second-half promotion to Double-A awaits. Harvey finished second in the FSL's ERA race (2.37) but led the way with 92 strikeouts and tied for the lead with eight wins.
• Logan Forsythe spent a month in the big leagues with the Padres as Orlando Hudson recovered from injury. The 24-year-old Forsythe started 11 games at second base for San Diego but batted just 8-for-48 (.167) overall. In his first game back with Triple-A Tucson yesterday, he went 4-for-5 with a homer, a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Happy homecoming, indeed. Forsythe's batting .293/.403/.517 with six homers in 116 at-bats for Tucson this season.
Short-Season Quick Hits
• Rookie-level Orem third baseman Kaleb Cowart, an Angels' first-round pick in 2010, went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs. Owlz second baseman Taylor Lindsey went 3-for-4 in the game.
• Padres center fielder Donavan Tate went 3-for-5 for short-season Eugene, collecting his first hits since his April 12 outfield collision with Everett Williams while playing for low Class A Fort Wayne. Tate went 0-for-13 in his first three games with the Emeralds.
• Pirates righthander Stetson Allie made his professional debut for short-season State College, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out three and walked three.
• A trio of Yankees 2010 draft picks—shortstop Cito Culver, DH Angelo Gumbs and center fielder Mason Williams—collected two hits apiece for short-season Staten Island.
• Orioles 2009 first-round righthander Matt Hobgood appeared in his first game this season, starting and throwing one perfect inning for the Gulf Coast League club.
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