Published June 28, 2013
| Sports Network
Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran looked as if they would be anchoring Atlanta's rotation together in the near future, but the lure of acquiring Justin Upton was too much for the Braves to pass on.
Delgado was part of the cost to acquire Upton's services and he'll make a return trip to Atlanta on Friday when his Arizona Diamondbacks begin a three- game series with the Braves, who will further the emotion of the homecoming by retiring Chipper Jones' No. 10 before the game.
Jones, who also will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame, was selected with the first overall pick in the 1990 draft and spent 19 seasons with Atlanta. During that time he won an NL MVP (1999), batting title (2008) and was selected to eight All-Star games.
It will be the 10th number retired by the Braves, joining Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21), Greg Maddux (31), Tom Glavine (47), Bobby Cox (6) and John Smoltz (29).
The loss of Jones following the 2012 season left Atlanta void of some power in its lineup, so the Braves sent a package of players, including Delgado and infielder Martin Prado, to the Diamondbacks for Upton, who was the top overall pick of the 2005 draft by Arizona. In addition to the versatile Prado, the Braves also had to part with one of their top pitching prospects in Delgado.
The 23-year-old was signed as a free agent in July of 2006 and went 5-10 with a 3.95 earned run average in 25 games with the Braves, including 24 starts, of the past two seasons.
Delgado will make his third start and fourth appearance of the season for Arizona and is coming off a loss last Sunday to Cincinnati. The right-hander yielded four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and a walk over five innings. Delgado was also touched for two home runs in falling to 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA on the year.
Delgado will be countered by Teheran, who has been a solid contributor to Atlanta's rotation. However, he has lost two of three starts since his near no-hitter versus Pittsburgh on June 5 and is coming off a tough-luck 2-0 setback to the Milwaukee Brewers last Friday.
The right-handed Teheran was charged with both runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings and did not walk a batter, falling to 5-4 on the year with a 3.32 ERA in 14 starts.
"I felt good. I felt like I did my job," said Teheran. "They just found a couple holes. This is my first time here. I was told it was a hitter's park so I tried to keep the ball down."
Teheran, 22, also suffered a 2-0 setback in Arizona on May 14, giving up two runs over six innings.
Prado also will make his return to Turner Field after hitting .295 over seven seasons with Atlanta, which signed him as an amateur free agent in 2001. The 2010 All-Star hit .301 a season ago, but is batting .241 this season through 75 games.
"It's going to be good," Prado told Arizona's website. "There's a lot of people that I know that helped me along the way in my career. I know that it's going to be good to see them and show them my respect. It's emotional, but I think this is something different in my career, and I'm looking forward to playing against my ex-teammates and having a good series."
Prado went 4-for-9 when the Braves visited the Diamondbacks from May 13-15 and would love to have a similar homecoming to when Upton returned to Arizona. The slugger went 4-for-5 with a home run and double in a 10-1 win to begin the series, then went 1-for-5 with four walks in the other two games, both won by the D'backs.
Upton, who hit .278 with 108 homers and 363 RBI in his six seasons with Arizona, has an average of .241 in 2013 with 15 homers and 36 RBI. He drove in two runs in Wednesday's 4-3 extra-inning loss to Kansas City. The setback snapped Atlanta's two-game win streak and was its sixth victory in nine games.
The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, snapped a three-game slide with Thursday's 3-2 win over Washington in 11 innings. Arizona got its winning run when Didi Gregorius executed a safety squeeze to plate a pinch-running A.J. Pollock.
Heath Bell then grabbed his 14th save of the season to complete the first leg of Arizona's 10-game road trip.