The Milwaukee Brewers have pitched pretty well of late, but that couldn't prevent them from being swept over the weekend.
The rebuilding Atlanta Braves have also received some strong performances on the mound lately, which have them coming off an impressive series win.
The teams open a three-game series at Turner Field on Tuesday night with a pair of starters looking to build on strong outings.
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The Brewers (18-26) had won three of four going into their road series against the New York Mets last weekend, but couldn't earn a victory despite limiting the Mets to 11 runs. Milwaukee was held to eight in the three games.
"We pitched well enough to put ourselves in every game, but they pitched a little better," manager Craig Counsell told MLB's official website.
Chase Anderson lasted five innings and gave up three runs while being hurt by Ryan Braun's misplay in left field in Sunday's 3-1 loss. Brewers starting pitchers have posted a 3.38 ERA in the last seven games - a major improvement as the club is last in the NL with a 5.45 ERA from the starters.
"I think we're all understanding of the position that we're in, but the goal is still to win games," said Braun, who singled once in four at-bats in his return after missing four games with a stiff back. "We're encouraged by the fact that our starting pitching has been really good the last couple of times through. Those guys are throwing great. We're putting ourselves in a position where if we're able to get some big hits or make big pitches, we're going to start winning a lot of games."
Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.07 ERA) will try to extend the rotation's resurgence. The right-hander has been excellent in his last two starts, allowing two runs in 15 1/3 innings, but going 0-1 in that span while receiving two total runs of support.
Nelson can't complain to Julio Teheran (1-4, 2.73) about it, though. The Braves right-hander is getting 2.73 runs per game, fifth-lowest in the league.
His last six starts have been a study in frustration, as he's 1-2 despite a 1.15 ERA. He's received 1.83 runs in those games.
Teheran finally broke through for a victory in his most recent start, however, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings to win 3-1 at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. That began a five-game stretch in which the Braves allowed one or no runs three times - all of those victories.
Atlanta (12-31) lost 5-0 at Philadelphia on Sunday, but that prevented a Braves sweep of the contending Phillies as the club completed a 10-game road trip at 4-6 before beginning 10 in a row at home.
"I've seen a lot of good things during my first week here that we can build on," interim manager Brian Snitker said. "We're getting the train rolling a little bit. We've got to just keep taking it a day at a time and not look too far ahead."
His players seem to agree after the dismissal of Fredi Gonzalez and Snitker's arrival last Tuesday.
"I wouldn't be able to put my finger on it, but I do think there is a different feel," utility man Kelly Johnson said. "To be honest, making the change and having that done was something that was talked about almost from the beginning. So now, that's just another distraction that is gone."
Ender Inciarte is 3 for 5 with a home run off Nelson, while Jonathan Lucroy is 4 for 8 with a pair of doubles against Teheran.
The Braves have won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Brewers.