Mike Pelfrey will be looking to ride the crest of an up-and-down wave that he's been on since returning from Tommy John surgery to the top again. Tim Hudson will be looking for a change of luck.
That's the story from the pitcher's mound as the Twins and Braves get set to meet Tuesday night for a 7:10 p.m. ET start at Turner Field.
Pelfrey has had good starts this year as he comes back from the elbow reconstruction, which took place May 1, 2012, but his last outing, on Wednesday against the White Sox, was not one of them. He allowed five runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in four innings.
"It's an ongoing process," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Sometimes he gets on top and the ball is sinking good, and other times the ball is kind of flat across the zone. And when that happens, they end up making him pay for it. So we'll just keep running him out there and see if he can get better as we go along here."
The Twins are learning about adversity, and Tuesday comes in the midst of a nine-game road swing.
"Road trips are tough," Gardenhire said. "We had a long road trip the last time and we played pretty decent at the end of it. But we definitely didn't play well at home. So maybe a fresh look here will do us good.
"National League baseball is exciting, and we get to see Atlanta here at their ballpark, which is a cool thing. So we just need to play better baseball and get some timely hitting and start clicking as a unit."
Hudson, meanwhile, could use a turnaround. He fell victim to an old friend in his last outing when former Oakland teammate Eric Chavez chalked up two hits and three RBIs against him in a Braves loss to Arizona.
"His approach was not really what the scouting report showed," Hudson said of Chavez. "That's the thing with guys that know me or know how I throw, you can throw that scouting report and defensive placements and all of that out the window."
Hudson, who also had Tommy John surgery, said the long season is full of ups and downs. It's something Pelfrey can learn from, too.
"When you play against good teams, there's going to be games that are tough to handle," Hudson said. "There's going to be games determined by one or two instances in a game."
Twins: Mauer and Morneau and May
Joe Mauer is hitting .400 (26-for-65) with 12 doubles and 11 walks in 16 games this month, while Justin Morneau is hitting .365 (27-for-74) with six doubles and 18 RBIs in 17 games this month. They have combined to hit .381 (53-for-139) in May.
• The Twins allowed four runs to the Braves in the first inning of Monday's game and have allowed 47 first-inning runs this season for an average of 1.15 per game, the highest in baseball. Opponents have scored in the first inning in eight of their last 16 games. They have allowed their opponents to score the game's first run in 26 of 41 games.
• Jamey Carroll is hitting .348 (8-for-23) in his last five games. In eight games at the leadoff spot, he is hitting .324 (12-for-37). He needs two walks to reach 400 for his career.
Braves: Putting the D in Andrelton
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has not committed an error in 179 total chances this season. His 1.000 fielding percentage ranks first in the Majors, since he's the only everyday shortstop with no errors. Simmons also is getting it done better with the bat. He is 30-for-106 (.283) in his last 27 games and has multi-hit efforts in eight of those games.
• Third baseman Chris Johnson went 1-for-2 on Sunday and lifted his team-leading batting average to .342. Johnson leads the club with 13 multi-hit games this season and his six games of three or more hits are tied for the NL lead.
• Closer Craig Kimbrel is 103-for-117 (.880) in career save opportunities. Kimbrel struck out three batters in the ninth inning of Sunday's win over the Dodgers, but he also issued a walk. So far this year he only has one outing (April 18 at Pittsburgh) in which he struck out all three batters he faced. He had a Majors-leading six such outings last year.
• Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is hitting .350 (14-for-40) with four doubles, a triple and a home run on the road compared to .182 (10-for-55) with two homers at home.
• Braves outfielder Justin Upton has a league-leading 14 home runs this season, which is three shy of his total of 17 last season (in 150 games).
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.