So far this season, Braves starter Julio Teheran is proving he has the makeup of an ace. On Saturday, Atlanta hopes Teheran has the makeup of a stopper. He takes the hill opposite Giants hurler Ryan Vogelsong in the midst of Atlanta's four-game losing streak.
Teheran's six straight quality starts and 1.47 ERA inspire confidence in a Braves team that has been outscored 25-8 since April 29.
"He has been dominant," Freddie Freeman said of Teheran on April 27. "He was dominant last year and he has just been continuing to do what he did last year. I think he's one of the best, to me. I get to see it every fifth day. So, it's a pleasure to watch."
Freeman was speaking of Teheran's latest gem, which saw the young right-hander give up only three hits, walk two and strike out five in eight scoreless innings against the Reds. Although he did not receive a decision, Teheran was happy.
He kept the game scoreless opposite Johnny Cueto, who surrendered only three hits and walked three in eight shutout innings.
"It was really emotional," Teheran said. "I was excited. I was trying to do the same thing I've been doing. I've been trying to get complete games every time, so we just focused and tried to do the same thing."
Teheran could be in line for another pitchers' duel with Vogelsong, who might be turning the corner after compiling a 7.71 ERA in his first four starts. He has recorded two quality starts in his past three outings, including a stellar effort on April 27.
The right-hander gave up two hits, walked two and struck out six in seven scoreless innings against the Indians at AT&T Park. It was his first start with seven or more innings pitched since he tossed eight shutout innings on Aug. 25, 2013.
Vogelsong retired 19 of the final 21 batters he faced in his gem against Cleveland. It was a much-needed confidence boost after he gave up five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Rockies on April 21.
"At this point in time it's been back and forth," Vogelsong said. "If I can throw two or three more really good ones like today and the Dodger game [a one-run, six-inning effort on April 16], I'll feel a lot better. I'm not going to get overly excited about one good start after a really bad one."
Giants: Homering away from home
Angel Pagan and Michael Morse both homered against the Braves on Friday night, giving San Francisco sole possession of third place in the Majors with 36 long balls. The Giants passed the Blue Jays, who hit one on Friday to up their total to 35.
The home runs by Pagan and Morse also gave San Francisco a Major League-leading 23 homers on the road this season, breaking a first-place tie the Giants shared with the Angels entering Friday.
Five of Morse's seven homers have come on the road, and six of Brandon Belt's seven have come away from AT&T Park.
• Buster Posey, a Leesburg, Ga., native, finished 0-for-4 on Friday night to snap a 14-game hitting streak against his home-state team. Posey entered Friday batting .418 (23-for-55) with 10 doubles, two home runs and 16 RBIs in his past 14 contests against the Braves.
He nearly extended the streak with a line drive that bounced just right of the foul line in right field on the first pitch of an eighth-inning at-bat against Jordan Walden. He grounded out to second on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
Braves: Floyd's role undetermined
Atlanta will activate right-hander Gavin Floyd from the disabled list on Sunday, but the club has no set plans as of yet for the veteran. He will either join the starting rotation or take a spot in the bullpen.
"We'll see how we use him in what role and that kind of stuff," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think we'll get a clearer picture by [Sunday]."
Floyd indicated he preferred to start but expressed he is primarily happy that he is simply in a position to pitch again after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May.
"I've been a starter all my career, so I don't know," Floyd said. "To have surgery, come back and feel the way I feel, I feel really good. If I had gone into surgery and expected me to be where I'm at now, and to demand anything, it's kind of one of those things that I just feel thankful to be able to pitch again."
• The Braves optioned right-hander Gus Schlosser to Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday to make room on the roster for Mike Minor, who started Friday night. Schlosser will stretch out as a starter in the Minors after pitching as a reliever in the Majors.
• B.J. Upton extended his hitting streak to six games with a ninth-inning single and swiped second base for the 250th stolen base of his career.
• Posey is 4-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs against Teheran.
• Justin Upton is batting .313 (5-for-16) with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs, two walks and eight strikeouts in his career against Vogelsong.
• Pagan led off Friday night's 2-1 win against the Braves with a solo home run. The Giants are 13-1 when they score first this season. Atlanta is 7-11 when the opponent scores first compared to 10-0 when it plates the game's first run.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.