Julio Teheran to start Opening Day for Braves

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that right-hander Julio Teheran will start Opening Day for the Braves when they take on the Brewers on March 31.

Kris Medlen was originally expected to get the call for the Braves, but he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week, leaving Teheran as the obvious choice for the assignment. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t officially announced the rest of his rotation, but Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale are the expected names. Ervin Santana could make his season debut on April 9 while Mike Minor should be ready to come off the disabled list by the second half of April.

Teheran, 23, posted a 3.20 ERA and 170/45 K/BB ratio over 185 2/3 innings last season and finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He agreed to a six-year, $34.2 million extension with the Braves last month.

Braves clinch NL East title

Ender Inciarte
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So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.

The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.

Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.

With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.