Things really aren't going well for Julio Teheran.
Atlanta's "ace" right-hander entered Tuesday afternoon's game against the Boston Red Sox on the heels of a stretch when he allowed at least three earned runs in four consecutive starts. Sadly for Braves Country, things didn't improve on this occasion, as Teheran was battered early, and after a minor recovery, he was sent to the showers on the wrong side of the decision in a 9-4 loss.
The game began in ominous fashion, as Teheran allowed back-to-back doubles to open the proceedings. In fact, the first four batters of the game reached base for Boston, and after an RBI groundout that brought the first out of the contest, Atlanta was in a 2-0 hole. From there, Teheran steadied things with four consecutive spotless innings, but damage again arrived in the sixth.
With the Braves sitting in a 2-2 tie (thanks largely to the work of Freddie Freeman in the fourth), Teheran again ran into considerable trouble. Mookie Betts led off the frame with a triple, and he would score two batters later on a single (that should have been a fielder's choice) from Xander Bogaerts. Unfortunately, the damage did not cease there, as Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli and Alejandro De Aza strung together three consecutive hits to thrust Boston in front by a 5-2 margin.
That was, of course, enough to give the Red Sox the victory, but Teheran went on to allow a home run to Brock Holt (who hit for the cycle in the game) in the seventh inning, before he was mercifully removed from the game. In the end, Julio Teheran allowed 13 (!) hits and a walk in 6.1 innings, and each of the six runs that he yielded were earned. Following the game, Teheran boasts a 5.07 ERA on the season, and it is tough to overstate how disappointing his early-season performance has been.
Of course, there were other parts of the game on Tuesday, and the bullpen didn't do a potential comeback bid any favors. Sugar Ray Marimon allowed three runs (on four hits) in the eighth inning to allow Boston to build a 9-2 lead, and at that point, things were academic. The aforementioned cycle from Brock Holt was painful enough, but seven members of the Red Sox lineup reached base at least twice, and nothing in the area of run prevention was a pleasure on this day.
In fairness, the offense wasn't exactly a bright spot. Short of a two-run output in the fourth inning, there wasn't a lot of positive momentum to speak of until the game was fully out of reach in the ninth. The Braves did string together two unimportant runs in the final frame after back-to-back doubles from Pedro Ciriaco and A.J. Pierzynski, but short of that and a 3-for-4 day from Juan Uribe, bright spots were few and far between.
The Braves and Red Sox will rekindle their series at Turner Field beginning on Wednesday evening, but as the teams travel to the South, Atlanta fans are left wondering what to make of their struggling ace.