NEW YORK -- The last time the Braves were at SunTrust Park, Julio Teheran could be spotted rehearsing something he'd never before put into practice during his eight-year big league career: his home run trot.
He had no idea he'd need it so soon.
A career .153 hitter, Teheran surprised his entire dugout by swatting his first career home run in Sunday's 5-4 series clincher over the Mets at Citi Field. In tagging Corey Oswalt for a solo shot in the fifth, Teheran plated Atlanta's first run of a three-run comeback. The Braves won after Nick Markakis launched a go-ahead homer in the 10th.
"He got us back in the game," manager Brian Snitker said. "That was big at the time."
Down, 3-0, in the fifth, Teheran pulled a 90-mph fastball above the zone a projected 392 feet, per Statcast™, sending it on a line over Citi Field's party deck beyond the left-field wall. The blast marked his first home run since high school, Teheran said, and the first by a Braves pitcher in more than a year.
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"That was a long time ago," Teheran said. "So long ago I don't remember running the bases like I did."
The round-tripper marked the first by a Braves hurler in more than a year, the last coming courtesy of Jaime Garcia on July 21, 2017, against the Dodgers. Teheran had only managed five extra-base hits in 385 career plate appearances prior. Still, he was hesitant to celebrate.
"My teammates were waiting for me to get pumped up, but I wasn't happy with the way I was pitching," said Teheran.
The righty has excelled against the Mets, and specifically at Citi Field, in his career, where he hasn't lost in more than three years. That streak continued Sunday, though Teheran exited on the wrong side of a 3-1 score. He walked four and allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings, continuing a frustrating stretch over which the right-hander is 2-3 with a 5.23 ERA in his last six starts overall.
"I feel more comfortable hitting right now," he said. "You never know when you're going to hit it … that's why I practice."