New York (28-15) at Atlanta (26-18)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Tue May 22, 2007
  • TV: SNY, TBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets look to increase their lead in the NL East on Tuesday when they open a three-game set with the second-place Atlanta Braves.

The Mets (28-15), owners of the best record in the NL, have moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta (26-18) in the division after going 7-3 during a 10-game homestand. The Braves, meanwhile, went 4-6 on the road over that same time.

Atlanta, though, has gotten the better of the Mets so far this season, winning four of six meetings.

“Moving into Atlanta and facing those guys who are running our tail, we have to return the favor,” Mets right fielder Shawn Green told the team’s official Web site.

Green is hitting .417 with three homers and six RBIs against the Braves in 2007, and David Wright enters this series having broken out of his early season slump.

The All-Star third baseman is batting .391 with five homers and 14 RBIs in the last 13 contests after hitting .239 with two homers and 11 RBIs in the first 30 games. Wright, batting just .160 against Atlanta this season, hit two home runs against the New York Yankees on Saturday and added another in the Mets’ 6-2 loss on Sunday.

The Mets, who ended the Braves’ run of 14 consecutive division crowns last season, won the first two games of the Subway Series with the Yankees.

The Mets now turn to former Brave Jorge Sosa (3-0, 2.25 ERA) to help them build on the top road record in the majors at 14-5. The right-hander is coming off his best outing of the season Wednesday, when he allowed one run and one hit with five strikeouts over seven innings of an 8-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

“He’s in a nice little rhythm right now, he’s really feeling his pitches,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “He’s in that little zone right now.”

Sosa found a similar zone with Atlanta in 2005, going 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 44 games—including 20 starts. His only appearances against the Braves came on June 29, 2003, when he lost despite holding them to one run and five hits over six innings for Tampa Bay.

Atlanta has dropped four of its last five contests, with its lone victory in that span coming in the second game of a doubleheader at Boston on Saturday. The Braves were routed 13-3 in the opener before ripping the Red Sox 14-0 in the nightcap.

On Sunday, Atlanta stranded 12 runners in a 6-3 defeat.

“We started off this trip playing well,” Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “We just finished it in a bit of a rut.”

The Braves hope Kyle Davies (1-2, 5.17) can help get them back on track. He allowed six runs—two earned—and five hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss at Washington on Wednesday.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in five appearances against the Mets at Turner Field. He allowed solo homers to Green and Ramon Castro in the second inning on April 8, but settled down and finished with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of Atlanta’s 3-2 victory.

Chipper Jones is hitting .331 with 37 home runs—his most against any club — in 169 games against the Mets. He is 0-for-3 in his career against Sosa.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Sosa Mia vs. K. Davies NYY
9-8 Record 7-15
4.47 ERA 6.09
69 K 99
41 BB 70
1.33 WHIP 1.65

Scoreboard

Tuesday, May 22