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Braves relying on rookies in rotation

The Sports Xchange
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Randall Delgado, the second consecutive starting pitcher up from Triple-A and the fourth straight rookie pitcher the Braves have sent out as they try to preserve their wild card spot, allowed only one earned run on three hits in five innings in Friday's 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Cardinals. It was his second consecutive start at the major league level; he'd made only spot starts before.

Delgado threw 93 pitches, struck out three and walked three. He followed Julio Teheran, who got his first major league win in Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader, giving up only one earned run on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Teheran looked better than Mike Minor, who gave up four runs in the first inning in the first game of the doubleheader after being staked to a 3-0 lead. He settled down after that, finding his command. He got the win but lasted only five innings. Still, backup catcher David Ross said, "He's going to be a stud."

Minor says he feels more comfortable this year -- he made his debut last Aug. 9 against the Astros and started seven other games for the Braves last season -- because he's been to the different ballparks and knows what to do, when to get to the ballpark, other little things.

And while he says he hangs around Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson to see how to act and prepare, he hasn't gotten up enough courage to talk to Tom Glavine, who's around the club a lot, as one of the broadcasters.

The fourth rookie was right-hander Brandon Beachy, whom manager Fredi Gonzalez acknowledges forgetting he is a rookie. The kid is poised and tenacious with a really hard slider and a soft curve to go with his fastball and changeup.

Beachy won the fifth starting job out of spring training, and with the injuries to Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, he will be in the playoff rotation with Hudson and Lowe -- if Lowe rights himself.

Pending the healthy, effective return of the veterans, then, each time Minor, Teheran and Delgado pitch over the next 2 1/2 weeks, they will be auditioning for the postseason roster.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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