(SportsNetwork.com) - The start of a 10-game homestand didn't go as planned for the Atlanta Braves and they'll try to regroup Thursday in the opener of a four-game series versus the Cincinnati Reds at Turner Field.
The Braves dropped two of three matchups with the NL East-rival Washington Nationals and suffered a 13-4 loss Wednesday. One night after blowing a big lead and losing 13-12, the Braves came up empty the entire middle portion.
Alex Wood was banged around for five runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out eight batters, but it wasn't enough.
"The Woody we love to see and the competitiveness was there," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was just a lot of pitches and a lot of deep counts."
Trevor Cahill and John Cornely both allowed four runs in relief.
A.J. Pierzynski went 1-for-4 with two RBI and has hit safely in all 12 of his games this season. Freddie Freeman continued to shine for Atlanta with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Freeman has recorded multiple hits in each of the last four games, batting .588 with 10 hits and five runs in that time.
"I don't think everybody is ever worried about Freddie Freeman," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said.
Atlanta has lost seven of the last nine games and will host the Philadelphia Phillies on this homestand.
Shelby Miller gets the nod for the Braves Thursday and is 3-0 with a 2.05 earned run average in four starts. He ran his personal win streak to three games in Saturday's 5-2 victory at Philadelphia, tossing six innings of two- run ball and allowing three hits.
Miller, a right-hander in his first season with Atlanta, will make his second start at Turner Field and is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in six career starts against the Reds.
Cincinnati will play the next 10 games on the road against the Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox, and was aiming for a three-game sweep of the NL Central-rival Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
However, the Reds dropped an 8-3 decision and starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen was dealt the loss in his big league debut for allowing three runs and eight hits in five innings. He served up three homers, struck out five and walked one.
"It's a process of learning how to pitch up here and be successful," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Lorenzen.
Lorenzen said the biggest thing he learned was to get ahead of guys.
Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce and Tucker Barnhart all homered and Brandon Phillips finished 2-for-4 for the Reds, who belted seven home runs in the series and allowed eight or more runs for only the second time this season. Bruce passed Vada Pinson for 10th on the Reds' all-time home run list with 187.
Phillips is 5-for-15 in his last four games.
Mike Leake had his start pushed back so Lorenzen can make his debut and gets the nod Thursday. Leake is 0-1 with a 3.90 earned run average through four starts and did not factor in the outcome of Friday's 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs, touched for three runs in seven innings.
Leake has given up three or more runs three times this season and is 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in six career starts against the Braves.
The Reds went 2-5 against the Braves last season, losing the first five meetings between the ballclubs.