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Braves-Diamondbacks Preview

AP - Sports

Julio Teheran is among the best pitchers in baseball, but that status could take a hit if the Arizona Diamondbacks continue pounding the ball.

Teheran looks to run his career-best winning streak to four straight starts Friday night when the Atlanta Braves open a three-game series at Arizona.

Teheran (5-3, 1.83 ERA) has the third-lowest ERA in the majors, while his 83 2-3 innings and 0.93 WHIP are among the NL leaders. The right-hander's dominance has been on display while winning his last three outings, yielding two runs in 22 1-3 innings and limiting opponents to a .185 average.

He has half of Atlanta's four wins in its past 11 games, and the Braves (31-27) are coming off Wednesday's 2-0 defeat to Seattle.

"The more he goes out there, the more impressed I get - his demeanor and how he goes about his business," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You watch him grow up in front of your face."

Teheran delivered in nearly every facet in Saturday's 3-2 win at Miami, yielding two runs in 7 1-3 innings while doubling on one of his two hits and scoring a run - the second of his career.

"He's a stud," third baseman Chris Johnson said. "He earned this one. He had our backs, and we got him just enough."

Teheran didn't need much in his most recent meeting with Arizona on June 28, striking out 10 in six innings of a 3-0 victory.

The Diamondbacks (26-36) are looking capable of avoiding such a performance this time. They hit .403 with seven homers and 32 runs while sweeping a three-game set at Colorado, collecting 18 hits in Thursday's 12-7 win.

"I know we've got a good hitting ball club. I know that," catcher Miguel Montero said.

While every member of the lineup had at least one hit Thursday, Chris Owings had three with a double, a homer and four RBIs. The shortstop raised his season average 22 points to .285 by feasting on the Rockies, going 7 for 11 with five extra-base hits - two homers - and seven RBIs.

Owings, hitting .352 at home this year, is facing Teheran for the first time.

Montero and Paul Goldschmidt are a combined 0 for 14 with six strikeouts against him, but both enter this matchup coming off a pair of standout performances. Montero was 6 for 9 with two homers and seven RBIs in the past two games while Goldschmidt went 5 for 10 with a homer and six RBIs.

Another big offensive effort may be needed with Brandon McCarthy (1-7, 5.20) taking the mound against the Braves for the first time. He's 0-4 with a 5.36 ERA in seven home starts, and 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his last five overall.

The right-hander has surrendered 10 runs and 18 hits in 11 innings over his last two outings.

"I am starting to give up runs again and that is kind of where it's been," McCarthy said. "A few quality innings and then things turn and I don't have any understanding why."

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