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MIN@ATL: Teheran dominates Twins over 8 1/3 frames

The Braves are back to their winning ways. The Mets, however, are still struggling to find something to get excited about.

Atlanta has won eight straight games following Saturday's 6-0 victory and has to feel good about Sunday's series finale at Citi Field with right-hander Julio Teheran on the mound.

The 22-year-old Teheran has seemingly figured things out after struggling in his first three starts of the season. He's posted a 2.41 ERA in his last five starts, issuing only two walks in that span. He's also coming off his best start of the season on Monday, allowing only a ninth-inning homer in a near shutout.

"I think there's still a lot of growing to do," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's not a finished product by any means of the imagination, but sure is nice watching him every fifth day."

The Mets, meanwhile, have dropped five straight games and have lost six of their last seven. It's been a difficult year for New York, which already is facing a double-digit deficit in the National League East.

One bright spot, however, has been closer Bobby Parnell, who is 4-1 with six saves and a 2.11 ERA. Mets manager Terry Collins said he's seen a big change in Parnell in the past year.

"I think Bobby Parnell -- from the second half of last season -- his whole demeanor on the mound has made him the perfect guy to be the closer right now," Collins said. "His command is so much better. His confidence in his stuff is so much better. It made it pretty easy. I think he's taking to it now and certainly taking the job over."

Braves: Johnson keeps hitting
• Third baseman Chris Johnson has hit safely in his last seven starts, batting .565 in that span. He has 15 multihit efforts this season.

• Outfielder Jordan Schafer has hit safely in nine of his last 14 games, batting .353.

Mets: Marcum on the mound
• Right-hander Shaun Marcum takes the hill on Sunday still searching for his first victory of the season but in much better spirits. The right-hander has turned in two consecutive solid starts, a sign that he might finally be 100 percent healthy.

He last faced the Braves on May 3, taking a no-decision in a 10-inning Mets victory at Turner Field.

• The Mets and the USO of Metropolitan New York will host the sixth annual Military Appreciation Night on Sunday, which will be one of the biggest gatherings of military personnel over Memorial Day weekend in New York. The club has donated more than 5,000 tickets to the USO for military personnel and their families. Pregame activities include children of active soldiers leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, a re-enlistment ceremony and representatives of each branch of the military throwing out the first pitch.

Worth noting
• Braves center fielder B.J. Upton is a .348 career hitter (8-for-23) with three doubles against Marcum.

• Mets outfielder Rick Ankiel has seven extra-base hits since joining the club on May 13.

• New York's Daniel Murphy has at least one hit in 12 of his last 14 games and is hitting .446 with two homers and nine RBIs in that span.

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