Twins rely on Pelfrey in Atlanta

Mike Pelfrey struggled against the Atlanta Braves in his days with the New York Mets. Pelfrey hopes a change in scenery will initiate progress against his former NL East foes.

Pelfrey is in his first season with the Minnesota Twins and gets the nod Tuesday in the second meeting of three against the Braves. In 16 career matchups (15 starts) with the Braves, Pelfrey is only 4-9 with a 5.65 earned run average.

The right-handed Pelfrey hasn't had much success with the Twins, going 3-4 with a 6.57 ERA in eight starts, and was dealt the loss on Wednesday in a 9-4 score versus the Chicago White Sox. Pelfrey was reached for five runs and eight hits in a season-low four innings of work.

Minnesota is 1-4 the last five times Pelfrey has taken the hill.

The Twins didn't do much for Monday's starter Kevin Correia, who was roughed up for five runs and eight hits in four innings during a 5-1 loss. Correia's night was ruined in the first inning, when Braves infielder Dan Uggla clubbed a three-run homer for a 4-0 cushion.

"I made a real bad pitch to Uggla," Correia said. "I didn't have real good command of pretty much anything."

Josh Willingham hit a solo homer and Justin Morneau added two of the Twins' six hits in defeat. Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 for a second straight game for the Twins, who have lost a season-high six in a row and opened a nine-game road trip on a sour note.

Atlanta has won four straight and padded its lead atop the NL East by 3 1/2 games over the Washington Nationals.

The Braves improved to 13-5 at Turner Field thanks to hurler Julio Teheran, who handled the Twins to the tune of 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Luis Avilan and Cory Gearrin each got an out in the ninth with Gearrin notching his first save in the process.

"I was excited to see him go out there for the ninth," Gearrin said of teammate Teheran. "It's just a sign of things to come."

Uggla's homer highlighted the Atlanta offense, while Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman had an RBI apiece in the win.

In other team news for the Braves, reliever Eric O'Flaherty will undergo Tommy John surgery Tuesday on his left elbow and his season is over. Noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.

It has been a rough the last two outings for Braves hurler Tim Hudson, who gets the call Tuesday versus the Twins. Hudson is 0-2 with an 11.42 earned run average in that time, spanning just 8 2/3 innings. He lasted 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs in an 8-2 loss at San Francisco on May 10.

Hudson then surrendered five runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss at Arizona on Wednesday and fell to 4-3 in nine starts to go with a 5.12 ERA. Hudson was 4-1 in his first seven starts, with Atlanta going 5-2 in that time.

The veteran right-hander and member of the 200-win club has pitched well in 14 career starts against Minnesota as evidenced by his 6-3 record and 2.13 ERA. In four home starts this season, Hudson is 3-0.

The Braves and Twins are meeting for the first time since Atlanta won two of three in the Twin Cities back in 2010. The last time the Twins played a regular season game or a playoff game in Atlanta was during the 1991 World Series. Minnesota won the series in seven games.