Though he was a southern kid who had spent most of his career in Georgia, Alex Wood was excited when he was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.
Now Wood is looking forward to facing the Braves in his first trip back to Atlanta on Tuesday night with the Dodgers chasing their fifth win in six games.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., Wood played for the University of Georgia before the Braves drafted him in 2012. He pitched for minor league affiliates in Rome and Gwinnett while appearing to emerge as a big part of the club's rebuilding plans.
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The left-hander went 21-20 with a 3.10 ERA in 86 games with Atlanta before he became one of the key pieces of a 13-player deal that sent him across the country.
"That's where I lived. It'll be fun," Wood told MLB's official website of Tuesday's return. "I was pretty much caught off guard with the whole trade. Everybody likes to think they know what's going on, but obviously you never really know."
Wood (1-1, 4.50 ERA) went 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA for Los Angeles (8-5) last season before getting left out of the playoff rotation, but he's been given another chance to start this season following injuries to Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brett Anderson.
Wood is hoping to put on a show for friends and family after allowing one run and five hits over seven innings in Wednesday's 3-1 home win over Arizona.
"I'll be leaving a bunch of tickets and we'll see what happens," he said.
Freddie Freeman expressed his unhappiness when Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan were sent to Los Angeles in the deal that brought Hector Olivera to Atlanta. The first baseman went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Jace Peterson was 2 for 4 with three RBIs on Sunday when the Braves won their third straight, 6-5 in 10 innings.
"There's nothing better than getting on the bird with a series win and sweep and an off-day," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Freeman is 4 of 11 in his last three games after a 2-for-25 start, while Nick Markakis is 7 for 16 with three doubles and six RBIs over his last four. Markakis is also 8 for 18 with three doubles and a homer in his last five versus Los Angeles.
The Braves (3-9) have scored six runs in each of the past three games after putting up that many only once while dropping their prior nine.
Julio Teheran (0-2, 6.35) is expected to get the ball after previously scheduled starter Matt Wisler worked the 10th inning Sunday. He's struggled in his last two outings, allowing 11 runs and 12 hits over 11 innings in a pair of defeats.
Teheran is also 0-4 with a 6.08 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers.
Yasiel Puig is 4 for 6 with a home run off him, while Yasmani Grandal has gone 3 for 7 with two doubles and Adrian Gonzalez is 4 for 12 with a home run.
Grandal had two hits and an RBI and Joc Pederson hit his second homer Sunday when Los Angeles took two of three from San Francisco with a 3-1 home win. Kike Hernandez went 8 for 18 with two homers and seven RBIs on the homestand.
Wood beat the Dodgers in July when Atlanta took two of three at Turner Field.