Braves head north of the border to Toronto

The Atlanta Braves will try to put the brakes on a five- game interleague losing streak on Monday when they play the first of two games against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays will then head to Turner Field for the final two games of the set.

Atlanta, which has beaten the Jays in eight of the last nine meetings, has only won two of its last 10 north of the border. In fact, the Braves were swept in an interleague set earlier in the year in Detroit, where they were outscored, 25-7.

The Braves, though, are one of the hottest teams in baseball, despite having an eight-game winning streak stopped with a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.

Atlanta, which still leads the NL East by 4 1/2 games over the Washington Nationals, will rely on veteran right-hander Tim Hudson on Monday. Hudson is winless in his last three starts (0-2), but did not get a decision on Tuesday against Minnesota. He gave up two runs and five hits and struck out five in five innings of his team's 5-4 win that night.

The 37-year-old was 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA through his first seven starts this season, but has pitched to an 8.56 ERA his last three times out to raise his overall ERA to 4.98.

Hudson is 11-3 lifetime versus the Blue Jays with a 2.79 ERA in 16 starts.

Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with a veteran hurler of its own in lefty Mark Buehrle, who is just 1-3 this season with a 5.90 ERA. Buehrle did not get a decision on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, but pitched well, as he allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings of a 4-3 win.

"Obviously, as a starting pitcher, you want to go out and try to win 20 games a year. But so much stuff has to happen," said Buehrle. "My goal is to go deep in games and good things are going to happen.

"Listen, I'd like to be 5-1 right now. I'm not. I'm 1-3. But as long as we're winning my starts, I'm going out there giving our team a chance to win, that's all I can ask for."

Buehrle has faced the Braves six times and is 3-2 against them with a 4.84 ERA.

Toronto needed some dramatics to salvage a split in their four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Munenori Kawasaki's two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth scored the game-winning run, as the Blue Jays scored four times in the final frame to steal a 6-5 victory.

"My teammates gave me an opportunity. I wanted to do something about it," Kawasaki said.

Despite Atlanta's recent success in this series, the Braves have split their 30 overall matchups with the Blue Jays.