Atlanta seeks to win a fourth straight game while dealing visiting Minnesota a sixth consecutive defeat Monday night.
The Braves (25-18) had lost five of six going into the weekend, but completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-2 victory Sunday, scoring four runs in the eighth inning.
Mike Minor struck out nine and the bullpen pitched three scoreless innings, giving Atlanta a 2.25 ERA over its last six contests."We lost a lot of games we felt we should have won," Minor said. "We came back in another one from behind and got the sweep."
The Braves overcame late deficits in all three games, outscoring the Dodgers 13-2 from the sixth inning on."We've been slow out of the gate as an offense (over the last three games), and (the pitching staff has) been able to keep us in the ballgame and keep runs off the board," said left fielder Justin Upton , 3 for 18 in his last five. "That's important in giving us a shot to win."
Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.57 ERA), who has posted a 2.84 ERA over his last four outings after getting off to a rough start to the season, will look to continue the trend. He gave up two runs in six innings Tuesday but lost 2-0 to Arizona.
"He's making adjustments in the middle of the game and he's making changes when he needs to. That's a good sign," catcher Gerald Laird told the team's official website.
The right-hander, who suffered his first defeat since falling to Philadelphia in his major league debut May 5, 2011, had gotten 18 runs of support in his previous four starts.
Teheran has never faced Minnesota and his only start versus an AL opponent was a short one, as he gave up four runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 12-4 loss to Toronto on June 10.
The Twins (18-22) have been struggling offensively, though, getting outscored 33-14 during their skid. Joe Mauer had his 15-game hitting streak snapped in a 5-1 loss to Boston on Sunday."We didn't really come up with key hits when we needed to or when we wanted to," said outfielder Chris Parmelee , 1 for 13 in his last four. "It's tough to win a ballgame when you don't have any clutch hits."
Minnesota went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
"These games, they happen throughout the season and it's something you've got to deal with," said third baseman Trevor Plouffe , who had two of the Twins' five hits to extend his hitting streak to six.
The Twins' Kevin Correia (4-3, 3.35) is looking to snap out of a funk. The right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his first five starts but has posted a 5.71 ERA in three outings this month.
He allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, giving up the go-ahead runs in the eighth before exiting.
The right-hander has been solid in his last four starts versus the Braves, going 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA. He gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-1 win while pitching for Pittsburgh the last time he faced them Oct. 2.
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
|April 16, 2013||Darin Mastroianni||15-Day DL||Stress reaction in left ankle|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
|May 18, 2013||Eric O'Flaherty||15-Day DL||Torn ligament, left elbow|
|May 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder contusion|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|April 25, 2013||Luis Ayala||15-Day DL||Anxiety disorder|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Even without an effective change-up, Julio Teheran still had enough to pitch into the ninth inning.
"I decided to just compete with my other pitches," he said. "I know my fastball is good, my two-seamer, so I just tried to command my curve and my slider."
Teheran pitched 8 1-3 strong innings, Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves won their fourth straight game with a 5-1 victory over the struggling Minnesota Twins on Monday.
Teheran (3-1) gave up five hits, one run - Josh Willingham 's homer in the ninth - and one walk. He struck out four, throwing 80 of his 123 pitches for strikes.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Teheran a chance to finish the game, but he and pitching coach Roger McDowell had agreed before the ninth that they wouldn't let the 22-year-old go past 125 pitches.
Teheran noticed in his pregame bullpen session that he wouldn't be able to rely too much on his change-up. He tried it against a few batters early in the game, but stuck with what was working instead of forcing the pitch on catcher Gerald Laird .
"For the experience of being out there in the ninth inning - maybe he was a little tired - but you've got to dig deep a little bit," Gonzalez said. "It was good for him."
Cory Gearrin earned his first career save by retiring pinch-hitter Oswaldo Arcia on a flyout that gave Minnesota its sixth straight loss.
The previous longest career outing for Teheran was seven innings, a mark he reached in a no-decision April 29 against Washington and a May 9 victory at San Francisco.
After rallying in the late innings to win three straight from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, Atlanta jumped on Twins starter Kevin Correia (4-4) early.
"He said it - his arm was dragging tonight," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He just couldn't get the whip in it, couldn't get the ball where he wanted to, I think. Normally he's really good locating the baseball, and he was up."
In the first, Freddie Freeman had an RBI single, and Uggla hit his eighth homer, a three-run shot, to make it 4-0.
Juan Francisco led off the fourth with a double, moved to third on Teheran's sacrifice bunt and scored on Andrelton Simmons ' sacrifice fly RBI for a 5-0 lead.
Correia had his shortest outing in nine starts this season. In four innings, he allowed eight hits, a season-high five runs and one walk.
Correia recorded no strikeouts for the first time this year and the first time as a starter since April 29, 2012, when he and the Pittsburgh Pirates lost in Atlanta.
"I didn't have real good command of pretty much anything, really," Correia said. "I was kind of getting away with it there after the first. I was able to kind of weasel my way through a couple innings, I guess."
Ryan Pressly pitched the fifth and sixth for Minnesota, allowing one walk and striking out one. Caleb Thielbar, recalled from Triple-A Rochester earlier in the day, worked the seventh and eighth, giving up a single and striking out three.
Teheran allowed a single to Justin Morneau in the first, faced the minimum in the second and gave up a leadoff single to Aaron Hicks in the third.
Morneau singled to begin the fourth and moved to second on a walk, but Teheran ended the threat with a flyout and a groundout.
Teheran, a 22-year-old in his first full season, held Minnesota to just one base runner - Willingham, who was hit by a pitch in the sixth - over the next four innings.
In his past five starts, the 22-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA.
Teheran retired Morneau on a flyout to begin the ninth, but Willingham hit his sixth homer and Trevor Plouffe singled to end the pitcher's night.
Luis Avilan faced the next two batters. Parmelee singled and pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit flew out before Gearrin retired Arcia.
Teheran credited Laird with helping him stay on point.
"Everything he wanted, I tried to pitch," Teheran said. "If I did shake him, he got me to throw it where he wanted me to. I shook him like twice the whole game. I did it in the seventh inning, and he got mad at me. But I know that sometimes I get confused, and he helped me with that."
Notes: Minnesota made its first regular-season visit to Turner Field and its first trip to Atlanta since the 1991 World Series. ... The Braves announced during the game that LHP Eric O'Flaherty will undergo season-ending elbow ligament replacement surgery on Tuesday. The news wasn't unexpected for O'Flaherty, the eighth-inning specialist who went on the disabled list Saturday with a torn ligament. ... Atlanta RHP Tim Hudson , Tuesday's scheduled starter, is 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA in his past two starts. ... RHP Mike Pelfrey will pitch for Minnesota and is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his past two starts. ... Francisco began the game hitless in his past 10 at-bats with seven consecutive strikeouts. He finished 2 for 3 with one walk and one strikeout.