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Braves take their struggles on the road to battle D'backs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves will try to find some consistency out west when they begin a seven-game road trip Friday with the first of three straight games against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

The Braves have four games with the Colorado Rockies on the horizon and lost both games in a brief set with the Seattle Mariners. They entered the Seattle series fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Miami Marlins, but the visiting Mariners posted 7-5 and 2-0 wins.

In Wednesday's shutout loss for the Braves, Mike Minor suffered the unfortunate loss and gave up only a run and five hits in seven innings with 10 strikeouts and three walks.

Jason Heyward had two of Atlanta's six hits in the loss, the club's sixth in the last nine tries. Typical Atlanta contributors B.J. Upton, Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson combined for only three hits for the Braves, who haven't scored a run in the past 16 innings.

"This is a team that shouldn't be shut out, because we're so talented offensively," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You've just got to keep going. We haven't been able to put together a decent winning streak because our offense just kind of stumbles on us."

Gonzalez hopes Atlanta's luck will change with Julio Teheran set to pitch Friday in the desert and he has won three straight starts. In last Friday's 3-2 win at Miami, Teheran allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings to push his record to 5-3 in 12 starts with a 1.83 ERA, which is third in the major leagues.

Teheran has two scoreless appearances during his unbeaten streak and Atlanta is 9-3 when he takes the mound this season. The right-hander is 3-2 in five road starts and 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts against Arizona.

Teheran will try to cool down an Arizona club coming off its first sweep of the season and has scored 28 runs in the last two games.

The Diamondbacks took it light on the Colorado Rockies with a 4-2 win in the series opener, but exploded for a 16-8 victory on Wednesday and broke out the brooms with last night's 12-7 decision. A day after collecting 21 hits, the D'backs posted 18 more and were led by Chris Owings, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.

Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero both hit home runs and combined for five hits, three RBI and three runs scored. Martin Prado finished 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to help Arizona win for the eighth time in 13 tries.

"When we've been getting them on base lately we've been getting them in," said Montero, who had a career-high six RBI Wednesday. "We've playing together a lot better lately and it showed in this entire series."

Bronson Arroyo needed the run support and picked up the win even after he was reached for four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Arizona is still 10 games under .500 (26-36) and last in the NL West -- 14 games off the lead. It will host Houston for two games and this five-game homestand and is winless in the past three at Chase Field, where the club has a 9-22 record.

Brandon McCarthy hopes to catch a break when he takes the mound for the D'backs Friday night. McCarthy is 0-2 with a 6.04 earned run average in his last five starts with the D'backs going 1-4 in that time. McCarthy has given up 10 runs in his last two appearances and allowed five in 4 1/3 innings of Saturday's 5-0 loss to Cincinnati.

McCarthy is 1-7 on the season in 12 starts with a 5.20 ERA and winless (0-4) in seven trips to the Chase Field mound. Arizona is 2-10 when McCarthy takes the mound. The right-hander has never faced Atlanta in his career.

The Diamondbacks and Braves are meeting for the first time since Atlanta won four of six matchups a season ago. The Braves are 12-4 in the last 16 matchups with Arizona.