The 22-year-old will try to begin changing that Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates and help the visiting Braves get back on track a day after their 10-game winning streak was snapped.
Atlanta's pitchers easily boasted the best ERA in the majors (1.83) during the club's 12-1 start and lowered that to 1.77 on Wednesday, but didn't get any offensive help in a 1-0 loss to Kansas City.
That kept the Braves (12-2) from their first 13-1 start since 1994.
"We feel like we can win every one of them," said second baseman Dan Uggla , who was called out on strikes to end Wednesday's game. "We'll just have to come back tomorrow and start another streak."
Teheran (0-0, 7.36 ERA) will look to help Atlanta bounce back with a better start to this outing. The right-hander gave up four runs in the first two innings Friday in Washington before settling down to allow two baserunners over four additional scoreless frames in a 6-4 win.
"For a young kid, the wheels definitely could have come off, and then next thing you know, he gives up five or six runs, and then we're into the bullpen early in the game," catcher Gerald Laird told the team's website. "He bounced back and showed me something. He battled."
In his first start against Pittsburgh, Teheran will face a club that's won six of eight after a 1-5 start. After giving up 10 runs to St. Louis on Monday, the Pirates (7-7) recorded their second shutout of the season, yielding one hit and no walks in a 5-0 win Wednesday.
Jeff Locke (1-1, 4.09) will try to build on that with another strong outing against Atlanta. The left-hander gave up one run and two hits over six innings in a 2-1 victory at PNC Park on Oct. 1.
After losing his season debut April 7 against the Dodgers, Locke worked around four walks to yield just a solo homer and three other hits in a 3-1 win over Cincinnati on Saturday.
"He competed and somehow he was able to get the big outs when he needed them," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Justin Upton , who has a major league-best eight homers, is 3 for 26 in his last eight games against Pittsburgh. He has never faced Locke.
Pirates left fielder Starling Marte , the owner of a career-high 10-game hit streak, went 5 for 13 in his only series against the Braves in October. He's 8 for 13 when leading off a game this season and tripled in his first at-bat in Wednesday's victory.
The Pirates edged Atlanta in last season's series (4-3) for the first time since 2009, winning two of three at PNC.
|April 16, 2013||Luis Avilan||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring injury|
|April 07, 2013||Cristhian Martinez||15-Day DL||Right shoulder strain|
|April 07, 2013||Freddie Freeman||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 06, 2013||Andrelton Simmons||Day-to-Day||Sprained left thumb|
|March 27, 2013||Jonny Venters||15-Day DL||Sprained left elbow|
|March 22, 2013||Brandon Beachy||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|April 09, 2013||Wandy Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left leg strain|
|March 26, 2013||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Right scapula soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Francisco Liriano||15-Day DL||Fractured right forearm|
|March 22, 2013||Jeff Karstens||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Charlie Morton||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 20, 2013||Chase d'Arnaud||60-Day DL||Left thumb surgery|
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Evan Gattis story just keeps getting better.
So do the Atlanta Braves .
The rookie catcher hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Gattis turned on a sinker from Pittsburgh reliever Jared Hughes (1-1) and drilled it down the line to continue his remarkable emergence.
"I was a little surprised," Gattis said. "I didn't think I hit it hard enough. It started hooking and I'm glad it did because I don't think it would have gone out otherwise."
Maybe Gattis shouldn't be shocked. The former highly coveted high school player turned janitor and ski-lift operator (among other odd jobs) turned late bloomer is helping power the Braves to the league's best record.
"He's got a pretty cool story if you dig into it," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "Unfortunately I didn't dig the swing he put on it."
Atlanta brothers B.J. and Justin Upton homered in the same game for the second time this season as the Braves continued their torrid play.
Atlanta improved to a major league-best 13-2 after Gattis smacked a home run in his first pinch-hit appearance in the majors.
"I'd only ever pinch hit one time before and that was in rookie ball and I think I grounded out to short," Gattis said.
Anthony Varvaro (1-0) won in relief of starter Julio Teheran . Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez each hit their first homer of the year, but the Pirates couldn't climb above .500. Travis Snider added two doubles and Garrett Jones drove in two runs.
The Uptons homered in the ninth inning of a 6-5 comeback win over the Cubs on April 6. This time, they didn't wait so long to get started.
B.J. Upton led off the game with a shot to left and Justin added a solo drive in the fifth for his ninth of the season, most in the majors.
Their power kept the Braves in it following another subpar start from Teheran.
Atlanta pitchers came in with a 1.77 ERA - easily the best in baseball - but Teheran continued to be the one member of the starting staff still searching for solid footing.
The 22-year-old struggled with his command in five innings, giving up four runs and seven hits while striking out four and walking three.
"He was OK," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He got some balls out over the plate and he had people on base in every inning."
Teheran had been lights-out against right-handed batters but allowed Martin's first homer with the Pirates leading off the second. Alvarez - in the midst of a 4 for 45 (.089) slump to begin the season - drilled a 91 mph slider to the batter's eye leading off the fourth.
While Teheran is a permanent part of Atlanta's future, Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke 's job security is more tenuous. He won a starting spot almost by default after injuries to Jeff Karstens and Francisco Liriano gave the Pirates a major hole at the back end of the rotation.
Locke's first two starts were adequate and Hurdle said there is a "window" for Locke to convince the Pirates to keep him around even after Liriano and Karstens return.
The 25-year-old Locke struggled keeping the Uptons - and their teammates - in check, giving up four runs and six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 4 2-3 innings.
Both starters left the game with a 4-all tie before the Braves broke through against Hughes.
Andrelton Simmons led off the eighth with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before Gattis entered as a pinch-hitter. Pittsburgh pitching coach Ray Searage came out to chat with Hughes, but three pitches later Gattis turned a sinker that appeared to be ball three and drilled it down the line to put the Braves in front to stay.
"I just fell behind him," Hughes said. "The ball didn't sink and he did a good job of getting his hands inside of it and hitting it hard."
Atlanta is unbeaten when it scores. The Braves' only losses have come by shutout, including a 1-0 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday that ended a 10-game winning streak.
The Braves picked right back up at the start of a 10-game road trip, trading shots with the Pirates through five before breaking away late.
NOTES: Liriano will make a start for Double-A Altoona on Saturday. The left-hander is expected to throw four innings or 65 pitches. Liriano is recovering from a broken right arm and could be called up to Pittsburgh within the next two weeks. ... Atlanta will monitor the health of left-handed reliever Luis Avilan , who left Tuesday night's game against Kansas City with a severe cramp in his left hamstring. Avilan will be placed on the disabled list if the leg doesn't improve by Sunday. ... The series continues Friday when Tim Hudson (2-0, 2.50 ERA) faces Pittsburgh LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 1.00).