Saturday, April 9, 2016

Martinez-Teheran showdown on tap Saturday

 A pair of offenses that gained some traction on Friday won't have an easy task sustaining it Saturday, when Braves ace Julio Teheran faces off against Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez in the second of a three-game series at Turner Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
This will be the season debut for Martinez, who lines up as St. Louis' No. 5 starter, even if he doesn't pitch like one. Martinez had a sensational spring -- striking out 16 batters over 15 2/3 innings -- and remained in Florida longer than the rest of the team to stretch himself out further in a Minor League start last Saturday. 
In his only previous start against Atlanta, Martinez outdueled former teammate (and former Brave) Shelby Miller with eight scoreless innings in July 2015.
Teheran began his season on Monday, allowing two runs over six innings for a no-decision on Opening Day against the Nationals. Now in his fourth season as a full-time member of the Braves' rotation, Teheran has made three career starts against the Cardinals. His most recent came last October, when Teheran shut out St. Louis in six innings.
• Neither of these clubs has been especially sound defensively to open 2016. Combined, the Cardinals and Braves have already committed nine errors. That included two by Cardinals shortstop Jedd Gyorko in the first inning on Friday.
• Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte exited Friday's game with left hamstring tightnessand is listed as day to day. If he is not able to return on Saturday, Drew Stubbs, who replaced Inciarte in the series opener, is a candidate to draw the start in center field.
• The Cardinals' pitching staff has not allowed a home run in the team's first four games, the first time that has happened for the club since 1990. The only other team that has not yet served up a homer this season is the Mets.

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