LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Greg Maddux often talked about the challenge a pitcher faces every time they add an additional inning to their scheduled starts during Spring Training. Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado seemed to gain some understanding of this on Wednesday night as they both struggled in their fourth inning of work in a 6-5 win over the Nationals.
Teheran held the Nationals scoreless before allowing a pair of home runs in a three-run fourth inning. These were the first home runs he had surrendered since allowing four in his March 4 start against the Tigers. The highly-regarded pitching prospect said this was the best of the three appearances he has made during the exhibition season.
Delgado entered in the fifth inning and limited the Nationals to just one hit through his first three innings. But his impressive effort was blemished when he allowed successive singles and a ground-rule double with two outs in the eighth inning. To his credit, the 22-year-old pitcher escaped without further damage.
"I thought Delgado did a terrific job of mixing up the pitches, and Julio did the same thing," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They're both coming on. They really are. It's a good competition."
Since both struggled during a March 4 game against the Tigers, Delgado and Teheran have made their battle for the final spot in the starting rotation interesting. Now that both are stretched out to pitch five innings, one will likely start against the Cardinals on Monday, while the other pitches in a Minor League game.