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|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 6, 2017
SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia Attendance: 40,706
Leake opposes Teheran as Cardinals face Braves
ATLANTA -- Mike Leake has exceeded expectations so far with the St. Louis Cardinals. For Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves, it's just the opposite.
Leake will try to build off a strong April while Teheran is hoping to get back on track as the right-handers oppose each other Saturday night in the middle game of a weekend series between the Cardinals (14-14) and Braves (11-16) at SunTrust Park.
Leake (3-1) led all National League starters in April with a 1.35 ERA and was fifth with a 0.99 WHIP while going 5-for-5 in quality starts and not allowing a home run.
"The last few years have been grinding years," said Leake, who was 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA with the Cardinals in 2016. "I'm still working on all of (my pitches). But at least they're coming around and feeling good coming out of the hand. I feel like I have confidence in all of my pitches right now."
Teheran (2-2) hasn't been able to put his pitches where he wants recently as his walks have spiked and his strikeouts dropped.
After allowing just two earned runs over 19 innings in his first three starts, Teheran has seen his ERA jump to 4.33 after giving up 13 runs in 10 innings while losing his past two home starts. He walked six and gave up three homers in the losses.
"I've been battling a few starts. The last two at home have been bad," Teheran said. "The walks, that's something I've been working on because I like to make people hit the ball. Hopefully it gets better."
The Braves are counting on Teheran to be their ace after he was selected for the All-Star Game for a second time last year and posted a 3.21 ERA.
It's been Leake, though, who has been on the top of his game after plenty of ups and downs in recent years.
"He just looks better," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "He's impressive with how he's putting every pitch he wants to where he wants to and the movement and the velocity."
Leake has fared well in his career against the Braves, going 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts.
Teheran is 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four career starts for Atlanta against the Cardinals.
St. Louis is without right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who landed to the 10-day disabled list Friday because of a strained right hamstring suffered Thursday, but the team received some good news on center fielder Dexter Fowler.
An MRI exam in St. Louis on Friday showed no structural damage in Fowler's right shoulder, which he injured when he tried to make a diving catch an inning after Piscotty was hurt.
Fowler rejoined the Cardinals in Atlanta and was a listed as day-to-day by Matheny, who was thankful not to lose both Piscotty and Fowler to the DL.
"It didn't look very promising yesterday, but as they got a chance this morning to have a more in-depth look at it, it looked like he could even be available to hit as early as tonight, possibly tomorrow," Matheny said before Friday's 10-0 series-opening rout of the Braves. "Everything is pointing in a positive direction and, again, it wasn't what we were expecting."
Updated May 6, 2017