8/17/2014 12:47 A.M. ET
After rough stretch, Teheran returns to form
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Coming off a frustrating three-start stretch in which he experienced tough luck and dealt with the bitterness of ugly results, Julio Teheran took the mound on Saturday night and provided another glimpse of why many believe he has already established himself as the ace of the Braves' rotation.
Teheran displayed his moxie as he gutted his way through six determined innings and helped the Braves secure their first series win in nearly three weeks with a 4-3 win over the A's, who still own Major League Baseball's best record despite losing six of their past seven games.
"I was just trying to get focused," Teheran said. "I wanted to really win this game because I had lost my last three and that's something I don't want to get used to. I was just trying to go out there and win and do my best to help my team."
Teheran delivered eight strong innings as he suffered a tough-luck loss while matching up with Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles on July 31. While making the 58th start of his career six days later in Seattle, he surrendered nine hits and six runs. Consequently, he was staring at losses in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He then suffered yet another loss on Monday, when he allowed five earned runs to the Dodgers in a 7 1/3-innings effort.
Before his Aug. 6 start in Seattle, Teheran had allowed at least five earned runs in just five of 57 career starts, but he entered Saturday night's outing having allowed this total in consecutive outings.
It didn't take long for Teheran to turn the tide as he held the A's scoreless until he allowed Stephen Vogt's two-run homer in the sixth. Vogt's home run immediately followed Brandon Moss drawing a two-out walk during a plate appearance in which Teheran seemed to feel like he was squeezed by home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.
"I really wanted to throw a scoreless [outing]," Teheran said. "I know I got a little bit squeezed today. But that is part of the game and it's something I don't want to think about."
Venters hopes he can return to Majors this year
ATLANTA -- When Jonny Venters underwent a second Tommy John surgery, there was little reason to believe he would ever regain the dominant form he possessed in 2010 and 2011. But 15 months removed from this surgery, Venters is still holding on to the hope that he might pitch in a Major League game this year.
"Time is getting short," Venters said. "Hopefully, I don't have to throw too many live [batting practices] and I can get into a game as fast as I can."
Venters has been throwing off a mound over the past week with what he approximates to be an 80 percent effort level. While his left elbow has not been as bothersome as it was throughout most of the 2012 season and 2013 Spring Training, he is still battling some discomfort.
"It's a different soreness and a different kind of pain," Venters said. "I'm trying to feel it out, trying to get over the pain really. You just got to get past it and know it's going to be sore."
Venters produced an impressive 1.89 ERA while making a Major League-high 164 appearances for the Braves from 2010-11. The left-handed reliever's elbow began bothering him the following season and then worsened when he returned to Spring Training the following year.
Fully cognizant of all Venters has endured while returning from this surgery and the one he underwent in 2005, the Braves are showing respect by not placing any expectations on him for this season.
"He's going at his own pace," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If we can use him the last week or two weeks, fine. If it doesn't, that is fine too. He's gone through so many setbacks. I haven't even entertained the idea of him being with us [this year]."
Braves wear throwback unis to honor 1914 champs
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman found himself wearing a cream-colored uniform and solid navy hat as the Braves celebrated the 100th anniversary of their 1914 World Series title by wearing throwback uniforms during Saturday night's game against the A's at Turner Field.
The 1914 Miracle Braves were 16 games under .500 on June 8 and 15 games out of first place on July 4. But they won 68 of their final 87 games, won the National League by 10 1/2 games and then swept the Philadelphia A's in the World Series. Rabbit Maranville, the star shortstop for that world championship Boston Braves club, was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame earlier this year.
While the Braves and A's wore uniforms that bore the resemblance of those worn during that 1914 World Series, Oakland manager Bob Melvin opted not to mimic Connie Mack, who wore a suit during the 50 seasons that he served as the manager of the A's franchise that would move from Philadelphia to Oakland.
"It'd have been more fun to wear it at home than here," Melvin said. "It's a little more humid here."
• Right-handed reliever Shae Simmons began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday night. Simmons, who has been sidelined since July 24 with a right shoulder strain, will likely make at least three appearances before being activated from the disabled list and placed back in Atlanta's bullpen.
• As Phil Gosselin trotted around the bases during the sixth inning of Friday's 7-2 win over the A's, he found himself enjoying his first career home run -- one that beat the thrill of homering off Stephen Strasburg during a 2009 NCAA Regional. The Braves have come to appreciate offensive and defensive capabilities provided by the versatile Gosselin, who started at shortstop on Friday and at second base on Saturday.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.