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MIN@ATL: Maholm stifles Twins over seven strong

The Interleague series between the Braves and Blue Jays took a fun twist in the opener on Monday night, with Toronto's Colby Rasmus getting the best of younger brother Cory, hitting a seventh-inning double off the Braves reliever.

In the second game of the four games between the teams on Tuesday -- the first two are in Toronto, while the next two will be in Atlanta -- Paul Maholm takes the mound against Brandon Morrow.

In his second season with the Braves, Maholm has proved quite useful as a left-handed starter. He has allowed two runs or less in seven of his 10 starts this season, while posting a 3.38 ERA in 61 1/3 innings. He's allowed just two home runs.

"He's just really good," said Braves catcher Evan Gattis, serving as the designated hitter in Toronto, "He can add and subtract [velocity] with his fastball. He's got four-seam, two-seam, good sink, good changeup and then two off-speed pitches. Really three, if you want to go slider, curveball and then cutter. He's tough, man."

The Blue Jays are trying to get Morrow on track, as the 28-year-old has hit a rough patch of late, allowing 17 hits and 11 earned runs over his last two starts. Opponents are hitting .282 off him this year, almost 40 points higher than his career average.

Braves: B.J. Upton a healthy scratch
Perhaps one of the more bizarre statistics this season has been B.J. Upton's batting average, which stands at .148 over 44 games.

Upton, who signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Braves this offseason, has just eight extra-base hits in 155 at-bats while striking out 60 times.

He sat for the second time in three games on Monday, but manager Fredi Gonzalez believes the outfielder is close to turning the corner.

"He may be the hardest-working guy I've been around," Gonzalez said. "It's hard to tinker with a swing, or make adjustments, and put him in the game and try to produce. But for me, great attitude, keeps working hard. You pull for those guys."

Blue Jays: Lawrie departs with ankle injury
The Blue Jays took another hit to their starting lineup on Monday when Brett Lawrie departed in the sixth inning after an awkward slide left him with a sprained left ankle.

He stayed in the game temporarily, but was removed after limping to third base on a ground ball.

Lawrie, who is hitting .209 in 36 games this season, also missed the two weeks to start the season with a strained oblique muscle. Mark DeRosa finished the game at third.

Worth noting
•The Braves' Jason Heyward had the day off Monday, but is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday.

• Braves lefty Brandon Beachy, recovering from Tommy John surgery, will start for Class A Rome on Wednesday.

• Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he's not sure what the team will do with shortstop Munenori Kawasaki when Jose Reyes returns, but the Blue Jays have been impressed with his play in the interim.

• Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero surrendered eight runs on five hits while recording just two outs in a rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo.

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