It's hard to avoid the idea that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hurt his team's chances of sweeping the New York Mets when he tabbed journeyman Kameron Loe to start last Wednesday's series finale in place of Julio Teheran, who has developed into one of the most consistent members of the rotation this season. But with a commanding lead in the National League East, Gonzalez elected to skip Teheran's spot in the rotation for reasons that extend beyond one regular season game.
"The goal was to give him a breather, and I think [the effects will be seen] maybe not the next start, [but] maybe a couple starts down the road, where he's capable of going the distance or getting a better start," Gonzalez said after Wednesday's 5-2 loss. "That's what we tried to plan to do a couple of weeks ago with [Mike Minor], and that didn't work out, he only got three days extra."
On Tuesday night in Miami, the Braves will begin to see exactly how much the 22-year-old right-hander benefitted from the extra six days of rest, as Teheran takes the mound for the first time this month looking to secure the second game of the series against the Marlins.
Teheran's last start came on Aug. 30, a 2-1 win over the Marlins in which he outdueled fellow NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate Jose Fernandez on the strength of eight strikeouts and one run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. Though he ended the month on a high note, Teheran's August revealed some possible signs of fatigue -- his sixteen walks last month were more than he had allowed in the previous two months combined.
Right-hander Tom Koehler will get the ball for the Marlins hoping to repay the Miami bullpen for its sterling performance in Koehler's last start, a 6-2 win over the Cubs last Tuesday in which he lasted only 4 1/3 innings. Koehler is looking to snap a streak of six winless starts, a stretch over which he has posted an ERA of 5.68.
The Marlins, who have scored the fewest runs in baseball by a wide margin this season, entered Monday night having averaged five runs per game in the week since Koehler's last start. The Miami bats were held to two runs on eight hits in the series opener, a 5-2 Atlanta win.
"We've scored some runs, and we haven't been able to shut teams down," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Shutdown innings are huge. I know there really isn't a stat for that, but it's important, momentum-wise. When we score a couple of runs, and we don't go out there and shut them down. I think that is very important. We haven't done a good job of that."
Braves: Bethancourt gets first big league callup
• After posting a .271 average with 12 homers and a .741 OPS in 90 games with Double-A Mississippi, highly touted 22-year-old catching prospect Christian Bethancourt earned his first trip to the Majors on Monday when the Braves recalled him following Mississippi's elimination from the Southern League postseason.
Bethancourt, the organization's No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, figures to be a prominent part of the team's plans behind the plate for years to come, and he joins Brian McCann, Gerald Laird and Evan Gattis as options for Gonzalez to slot in at catcher over the final weeks of the season. He joined the team in Miami for the start of this week's series.
• Braves starter Kris Medlen snapped an impressive streak of command in the fourth inning of Monday night's game when he issued a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich. Going back to his Aug. 23 start in St. Louis, Medlen had gone 18 innings without a base on balls. Monday also marked the first time since the All-Star break Medlen has given up multiple walks in a game.
Marlins: Stanton takes part in warmups
• Although he was absent from starting lineup for the second straight day on Monday, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton took an encouraging step toward returning to action, taking batting practice and participating in pregame drills before the team's series opener against the Braves. Stanton has been playing through pain since rolling his right ankle on the first-base bag in Atlanta on Sept. 1.
"Best case, [Tuesday] he's ready to go," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "But it really is up to him. We're going day to day. When he says he is good to go and ready to play, he will play."
Stanton leads all Marlins regulars in home runs, RBIs and OPS this season. He batted .278 (5-for-18) in five games following the injury before getting the day off on Sunday.
• Chris Coghlan went 4-for-4 on Monday night. Coghlan spent nearly three months on the DL with a right calf nerve irritation that also caused him back discomfort, and he has played third base, left field and right field since his return.
• Miami catcher Jeff Mathis was replaced in Monday night's game after sustaining a right thumb contusion and was listed as day to day. The Marlins could give Mathis a couple of days to rest because they are carrying two other catchers -- Rob Brantly and Koyie Hill.
• Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre collected a pinch-hit double in Monday's seventh inning, giving him 2,213 career hits to move ahead of Joe Kuhel for 176th all-time. Next up on the list is Joe DiMaggio, sitting alone in 175th with 2,214.
• Koehler allowed two earned runs on six hits over five innings in his only start against the Braves this season, an 11-3 Miami loss in Atlanta on July 2.
• The Braves lead the season series 11-5.
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.