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Braves hope to get Teheran on track in opener with Reds

(SportsNetwork.com) - Julio Teheran tries to make it two straight wins on Thursday when the Atlanta Braves open a four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Teheran had lost three straight starts before beating Oakland on Saturday. He allowed two runs and four hits over six innings of that one to improve to 11-9 on the year to go along with a 3.06 ERA.

He had pitched to a 5.48 ERA over the course of the skid.

"I was just trying to get focused," Teheran said. "I wanted to really win this game because I had lost my last three and that's something I don't want to get used to. I was just trying to go out there and win and do my best to help my team."

Teheran tossed eight scoreless innings against the Reds earlier in the season, but is 0-1 in two starts against them with a 3.38 ERA.

Atlanta will be trying to bounce back tonight after a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Braves gave up three runs over the final two innings and fell, 3-2, to have a five-game winning streak stopped.

The winning run was set up by an error from Justin Upton, who nearly collided with his brother B.J. in the outfield.

"That ball was literally right between where both of us could get to it. It was just perfect placement," Justin Upton said. "We can't stop. Games like this are going to happen. We've just got to keep our heads up and keep going."

Atlanta is still 1 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot in the National League.

Cincinnati, meanwhile, returns home after a miserable 1-6 road trip that culminated with five straight losses, including a 7-3 setback to St. Louis on Wednesday.

Reds starter Johnny Cueto (15-7) was denied his major league-leading 16th win of the season in that one and ended his five-start win streak. Cueto lost for the first time since July 2 after allowing five runs on seven hits with four walks in just five-plus innings.

"Just one of those days where he didn't have a real good feel for his delivery," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "Lot of deep counts and close misses early. As the game wore on, it got a little bit more just spraying the ball around the zone."

Cincinnati has dropped 10 of 12 to fall 10 games out of first place in the National League Central.

It may not get any easier on Thursday, as the Reds will rely on lefty David Holmberg, who will be recalled to make his second start of the season. His first outing, though, didn't last that long, as the Chicago Cubs ripped him for five runs and seven hits in just 2 2/3 innings back on July 8.

"He was behind a lot and in some bad counts and the Cubs took advantage of it. He made some location mistakes," Price said. "Young guys trying to establish themselves sometimes tend to get out of character. I certainly don't think we saw the best he has to offer, by any means, in that one start."

Atlanta swept a three-game set from the Reds earlier in the year and has won six of the last eight in the series.

08/21 10:21:21 ET