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Teheran's strong effort falls short in Braves loss

Right-hander allows two first-inning runs before settling down with five scoreless
Special to MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals picked up right where they left off against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, hammering him for two first-inning runs Monday evening at Nationals Park. For Teheran, it was a reminder of his last start, a 2 1/3-inning outing during which he allowed five earned runs in a loss to Washington last Tuesday.

Teheran settled down from there, not allowing the Nationals to cross home plate again. But it wasn't enough to overcome a dominant performance from Washington right-hander Max Scherzer, who threw a shutout as the Braves lost, 2-0.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals picked up right where they left off against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, hammering him for two first-inning runs Monday evening at Nationals Park. For Teheran, it was a reminder of his last start, a 2 1/3-inning outing during which he allowed five earned runs in a loss to Washington last Tuesday.

Teheran settled down from there, not allowing the Nationals to cross home plate again. But it wasn't enough to overcome a dominant performance from Washington right-hander Max Scherzer, who threw a shutout as the Braves lost, 2-0.

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"He was really good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Teheran. "He kept the game in check and gave us a chance."

After surrendering a two-run double off the bat of Howie Kendrick in the first inning, Teheran allowed just one more baserunner to advance past second base before getting pulled after six innings. He left having allowed two earned runs on five hits and four walks.

"It's a big step for him," first baseman Freddie Freeman said.

Video: ATL@WSH: Teheran picks off Taylor on overturned call

Teheran had struggled to find his footing this season before Monday's game. In addition to last week's start against the Nationals, he surrendered four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies on Opening Day.

Teheran credited his success after the first inning Monday to the effectiveness of his slider and changeup and his command of his fastball. Snitker agreed.

"Overall, he gave us a chance to win," Snitker said.

Perhaps no Nationals player was more excited to get a second crack at Teheran than star slugger Bryce Harper. The right fielder took Teheran deep for the eighth time in his career last week, and entering Monday's game he owned a .462/.553/1.154 slash line against the right-hander.

On Monday, Harper walked in his first two at-bats against Teheran before flying out to right field in the fifth inning.

For a Braves team that has started strong, Teheran's effectiveness will be key as the season wears on. Monday was a step in the right direction, but after Teheran's first-inning mistakes, Scherzer ensured there would be no Atlanta comeback.

"We got to give him the credit. He got us today," Teheran said of Scherzer.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Kendrick puts Nats on the board: On Monday, the Nationals got on the board early against Teheran. After a double from Anthony Rendon and a walk to Harper, Kendrick pulled a Teheran slider just down the third-base line for a double to drive in both runs.

WHAT'S NEXT
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz takes the mound for Atlanta as the Braves look to even the series against the Nationals starting at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Foltynewicz has been effective in a pair of short starts this season, having recorded a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings pitched. He'll hope to pitch deeper into the game against Washington.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. and covered the Braves on Monday.

Atlanta Braves, Julio Teheran