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SF@COL: Morales allows three runs in six innings

After a solid rookie season in 2013, Braves starter Julio Teheran has made the transition from promising prospect to productive pro in 2014. The right-hander is tied for second in the Majors with nine quality starts and ranks fourth with a 1.92 ERA.

Teheran most recently shut down the Brewers, holding Milwaukee scoreless in his second career complete game, and he'll look to do the same to the Rockies on Sunday as the Braves look to secure the series win. 

The gem vs. the Crew was a significant rebound from Teheran's season-worst outing in San Francisco on May 14. He pitched only 3 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on a night that saw him issue a season-high five walks. He has only walked 13 batters in his other nine starts combined this season.

"The good ones and the horses are able to go out there, and they smell the blood in the water," Braves catcher Gerald Laird said following Teheran's latest outing. "He went out there, made pitches and I'm glad he got it done."

Teheran's terrific turn was also significant in that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez let his right-hander finish despite owning a pitch count of 109 after giving up a leadoff single in the top of the ninth.

Gonzalez even left him in after he gave up a second single before he eventually got out of the inning and the game unscathed at 128 pitches.

"That's something that motivates me, every time my manager shows confidence in me like that," Teheran said.

Teheran will be opposed on Sunday by Franklin Morales, who got some confidence in his most recent outing, recording his first quality start since April 22. The left-hander gave up only three earned runs in six innings, stopping a streak of four straight starts that increased his ERA.

Cutting down on walks was key for Morales, who issued just one free pass against the Giants on Tuesday after walking seven batters in his past two turns.

Braves: Lineup eager to see southpaw
• Last year, the Braves would not have looked forward to a matchup against Morales or any other southpaw starters. But this year's club has garnered most of its offensive success against left-handers and struggled mightily against right-handed pitchers.

Armed with a right-handed heavy lineup that no longer includes Brian McCann's left-handed presence, the Braves have hit .287 with a Major League-best .358 on-base percentage against southpaws. Last year, they hit just .239 with a .321 OBP against lefties.

Justin Upton has batted .393 (11-for-28) with five home runs and a .528 on-base percentage against left-handers. Chris Johnson has done his part, hitting .440 (11-for-25) with a .481 OBP against southpaws.

Atlanta's lineup might not look too appetizing to Morales, who has allowed right-handed hitters to bat .294 (45-for-153) with a .359 OBP.

Rockies: Culberson impresses in place of Arenado
• Charlie Culberson started at third base on Saturday as Colorado placed Nolan Arenado (fractured finger) on the disabled list, and he impressed. The Rome, Ga., native finished 2-for-4 to notch his first multi-hit game of 2014.

"Charlie did a great job," Weiss said. "Tough night last night, but I feel like we've got some pretty nice players to go to here in Nolan's absence."

• Rockies reliever Matt Belisle made his 344th appearance in the purple and black on Saturday, tying him with Curtis Leskanic for the third-most games by a pitcher in franchise history. He pitched a perfect seventh for his 99th career hold.

Worth noting
• Latroy Hawkins is only two appearances away from tying David Weathers (964) for the 18th-most in Major League history.

• Jason Heyward's 11-game hitting streak ended on Saturday, falling one game shy of his career-high mark of 12. However, he has reached base in 14 straight games.

• Troy Tulowitzki is only three home runs away from tying Andres Gallarraga for fifth in Rockies franchise history with 172 home runs.

• Craig Kimbrel is two saves away from tying John Smoltz's franchise record of 154. Comments