Braves hope to reach .500 against Brewers

( - The Atlanta Braves attempt to reach the .500 mark on Thursday night when they begin a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Braves have won four of their past five games, following up a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a split of a quick two-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays. Atlanta won Wednesday's meeting 2-1 despite managing just five hits.

Three of those hits were doubles and both Alberto Callaspo and Todd Cunningham drove in runs.

Williams Perez, making his first career start, went five innings and allowed one run on six hits with seven strikeouts in the no-decision. Brandon Cunniff earned the win for 1 1/3 innings in relief and Jason Grilli closed it out in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

"We're playing good baseball and we need to keep it going," Braves second baseman Jace Peterson said.

Atlanta will look to reach the .500 mark for the first time since it was 14-14 on May 6 and Julio Teheran will start this opener. He is 3-1 on the year with a disappointing 4.33 earned run average.

Teheran has lasted through six innings just once over his past six outings, falling just short of that mark in Friday's no-decision against the Marlins. The right-hander yielded two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out five as Atlanta eventually emerged with a 5-3 win.

Teheran owns an excellent 1.69 ERA in three prior starts against the Brewers, holding them to four runs over 21 1/3 innings, but is just 1-2.

Getting the call for the Brewers will be Matt Garza, who is just 2-5 with a 5.72 ERA on the year.

Garza's numbers took a big hit last time out as he failed to build off a solid no-decision against the Chicago Cubs from May 10, getting hammered in a 14-1 loss at the New York Mets on Saturday. Garza yielded 10 runs on 10 hits, one a grand slam, and three walks over just 3 1/3 innings of work. He gave up nine of those runs during the fourth frame.

"He was making a few mistakes, but I didn't think he was pitching poorly," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell about Garza. "But then things got away from him pretty fast."

The right-hander will shoot for his first career victory over the Braves as he is 0-3 against them in five previous starts with a 4.76 ERA.

Milwaukee was aiming for its first series sweep of the season on Wednesday, but instead lost the finale of a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers 5-2.

Ryan Braun hit a solo home run and Elian Herrera also brought in a run for the Brewers, but reliever Jonathan Broxton yielded a three-run triple to Detroit's Nick Castellanos in the eighth inning.

"I thought we played a good game," said Counsell. "We just didn't have many opportunities."

The Braves won five of their seven meetings with the Brewers last season, taking three of four at home.