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Teixeira looks to start heating up

Teixeira could start heating up for Braves

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ATLANTA -- Mark Teixeira's long home run to right field in the middle of the back-to-back-to-back attack Thursday night in Florida may be a sign that the slugger is snapping out of his early-season slump that has seen him hover around the dreaded Mendoza Line.

The blast gave Teixeira a hit in six of the final seven games of the Braves' recent road trip, a journey that saw his average hit its nadir at .156 after his 0-for-3 April 8 game in Colorado (it also spiked after a 2-for-4 game on April 13, in Washington).

"It takes a while for me to get going," said Teixeira, who hit only .211 in Spring Training, .100 in the two games in March and was at .224 for the month of April entering action against Los Angeles on Friday night. "I feel like I've been hitting the ball. Not a lot of balls are falling in, but it's a long season and hopefully yesterday was a good indication of how our team is turning around and hopefully we'll keep scoring some runs."

"He's been hitting in hard luck," agreed Braves manager Bobby Cox. "A lot of them have. [Mark] Kotsay, they've been hitting the ball pretty hard but it's been getting caught a lot."

If history is any indication, Teixeira's luck is due to change in a big way sometime around May 1.

April has never been the slugger's month, as he is a career .251 hitter in April, the lowest of any month, but is dramatically better in May (.292). Last season, Teixeira hit .231 in April, then .349 In May. He also saves his best for last, as he's a .300 hitter in August and a .293 hitter in September.

Of course, Braves fans already know how well Teixeira hits late in the year, as he hit .315 in August and .320 last September.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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