PHILADELPHIA -- Wanting to make sure Julio Teheran knew the organization was proud of the way he handled his Major League debut, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called Triple-A Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage to make sure he delivered this message to the young hurler again on Sunday.
"I wanted to make sure he told him that he did good and that he was impressive and that we liked the way he handled himself," Gonzalez said. "We told him that last night. But we wanted to make sure they told him again."
Making his debut in front of a raucous sold-out crowd and against an experienced Phillies lineup Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, Teheran didn't seem to be intimidated. The 20-year-old right-hander allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings and impressed Gonzalez with things like the way he held runners.
Regardless of how he fared, Teheran knew he would immediately return to the Minors after the spot start. After optioning him back to Gwinnett Sunday, the Braves recalled utility man Diory Hernandez, who will provide the club a backup shortstop. Brandon Hicks had filled this role before he was optioned to make room for Teheran on Saturday.
While Teheran made a good first impression, he also provided the reminder that he needs a little more Minor League seasoning. He entered Saturday having thrown just 70 innings at the Double-A level or above.
"If he goes down and continues to dominate the way he's been dominating, then I think we'll see him maybe sooner than later," Gonzalez said. "I believe pitchers need to get their work in and experience before you rush them up."
Clad in pink, Freeman delivers for late mom
PHILADELPHIA -- Since losing her at the age of 10, Freddie Freeman hasn't allowed a day to pass without thinking of his mother, Rosemary, who lost her battle against melanoma.
While experiencing his first Mother's Day at the Major League level, Freeman provided his mother certain reason to be proud.
Wearing pink shoes and wristbands in her honor on Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park, Freeman enjoyed a career-best three-hit performance and helped the Braves claim a 5-2 win over the Phillies. The 21-year-old rookie first baseman highlighted his performance with a fifth-inning leadoff homer off Cole Hamels.
"I think about her every day, but obviously today there was a little more emphasis," Freeman said. "I know she's proud. It was pretty special today. I wore all the pink I could just to honor her today."
Freeman said he will donate the shoes to help benefit Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had a similar plan after wearing pink shoes Sunday night in honor of his mother-in-law, Laverne Miller, who is battling breast cancer. He will donate his shoes to have them auctioned to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.
"I think somebody is going to have to come up with a tally on pink shoes today," Gonzalez said. "I was watching the Marlins and Gaby Sanchez had pink shoes on and I think he had like four or five hits. Maybe that will be the thing around the league -- wear pink shoes to get out of a slump."
Major Leaguers once again used Mother's Day to promote breast-cancer awareness. Brian McCannn, Martin Prado, Alex Gonzalez, Eric Hinske and Nate McLouth were among the Braves who chose to use pink bats during Sunday night's series finale against the Phillies.
Gonzalez generated some pink bat power while giving the Braves an early lead with a two-run, second-inning homer off Hamels. Hinske used his pink bat when he drilled a no-doubt, eighth-inning homer that gave the Braves some cushion.
McLouth was also among those who used pink batting gloves. Chipper Jones wore both a pink necklace and pink wristbands.
Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Groin strain doesn't concern Braves shortstop
PHILADELPHIA -- Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez exited Sunday night's game against the Phillies with a slight left groin strain that he doesn't believe will prove bothersome.
Gonzalez felt some discomfort while securing Shane Victorino's third-inning grounder. The 34-year-old shortstop made the play and remained in the game until the eighth inning, when he was replaced by Diory Hernandez, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier in the day.
Gonzalez said he will rest during Monday's off-day and possibly return to the lineup for Tuesday night's series opener against the Nationals at Turner Field.
"It was one of those things if you catch it early enough and get him out of there, I think he can bounce back," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Conrad gets his first taste of first base
PHILADELPHIA -- When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked Brooks Conrad to begin taking grounders at first base during Spring Training, he was preparing the utility infielder for a situation like the one that arose during Saturday night's loss to the Phillies.
With the Braves down three runs and wanting to double-switch to allow Cory Gearrin to work multiple innings, Gonzalez inserted Conrad to play first base to begin the bottom of the seventh. He would have gone with left-handed pinch-hitter Eric Hinske had the Phillies not shown they were likely going to have left-handed reliever Antoinio Bastardo begin the eighth inning.
Bastardo began his outing by walking the switch-hitting Conrad. One inning later, Gonzalez still had the opportunity to use Hinske against right-handed closer Ryan Madson.
Gonzalez credited bench coach Carlos Tosca for suggesting to use Conrad at first base for the first time in his Major League career. This also marked the first time the 30-year-old utility man played defense this season.
McCann catches Jurrjens for first time in '11
PHILADELPHIA -- As he suggested he would end up doing, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has decided against having David Ross serve as Jair Jurrjens' personal catcher. With Jurrjens on the mound for Sunday night's series finale against the Phillies, Gonzalez put his All-Star catcher Brian McCann behind the plate.
With an off-day coming Monday, there certainly wasn't reason for Gonzalez to rest McCann. Nor did he worry too much about affecting Jurrjens, who had gone 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA with Ross serving as his catcher during each of the four previous starts he had made this season.
"[McCann and Ross] can handle anybody on the staff," Gonzalez said. "It's not like it's a big deal. I think all these pitchers like throwing to both guys. So there's nothing there that is personal or anything."
Instead of designating a certain pitcher to Ross, Gonzalez said he will likely just monitor his catchers throughout the season and attempt to prevent having McCann catch more than five days in a row. As he maps out his plan a week or more in advance, he knows he will have to account for things like a day game following a night game.
Even with the Phillies throwing left-hander Cole Hamels on Sunday night, the matchup seemed to favor the left-handed-hitting McCann.
While Ross has just one hit in seven at-bats against Hamels, McCann entered the game having hit .300 (12-for-40) with a homer and six doubles against the Phillies southpaw.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.