Braves-Mets Preview

The Associated PressMay 25, 2013

The Atlanta Braves have won six consecutive games. The New York Mets have lost six straight at home.

The teams had to wait one more day before seeing if both streaks would continue, as they're set to complete a suspended game before meeting in the regularly scheduled one about an hour later Saturday night.

Friday's game is tied 5-5 heading to the top of the ninth, with the Mets rallying to tie in the eighth in the midst of a downpour, having drawn within one on a Daniel Murphy single and scoring again on a wild pitch.

''It was tough to see. As tough as it was to see, I'm sure it was tough to get a grip on the ball and footing on the mound,'' Murphy said. ''So, equal playing field and we were really glad to tie the score up there, and we'll come out tomorrow and see if we can win an inning.''

The ninth inning presents an interesting decision for both managers. Atlanta's Fredi Gonzalez is considering putting Anthony Varvaro, who blew the save Friday, back on the mound.

"I could even run Varvaro back out there,'' Gonzalez said. ''It's like going back-to-back days.''

Mets manager Terry Collins will also turn to his bullpen, as opposed to giving the ball to scheduled Saturday starter Dillon Gee to pitch in the suspended game.

"I'm going to start the game with a relief pitcher,'' Collins said. "Otherwise, if the thing's over in 10 minutes, the guy's already warmed up, now he has to sit for an hour. That's not what I want to happen.''

Once the first game is over, Mike Minor (5-2, 2.78 ERA) will try to put an end to his road struggles against the Mets.

He appears to have a good chance to do so given his performance of late. Atlanta has won his last three starts, during which the left-hander has gone 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 19 2-3 innings.

He set a season high with nine strikeouts and surrendered two runs and three hits in six innings of a 5-2 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday. Minor didn't get the decision.

Minor has a 5.63 ERA in seven career starts versus New York - his worst against any team he's pitched at least 15 innings against. He's turned in a pair of solid effort in his last two matchups, allowing three runs in 13 1-3 innings, but those games came at Atlanta.

Minor, who went seven innings and gave up three runs in a 7-5 win over the Mets on May 3, has gone 1-1 with an 8.04 ERA in three career starts at Citi Field.

New York's Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.04), by contrast, has been very comfortable at Citi Field, posting a 2.35 ERA in four starts as opposed to a 9.97 mark in five starts away from home.

Gee, who gave up three runs in five innings of a 4-3 road defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, has failed to pitch more than five innings in his past four starts.

Gee has held Freddie Freeman to one hit in 11 at-bats, but the Braves slugger hit a two-run homer Friday and has recorded a pair of two-hit games in his last three.

Freeman has eight home runs against the Mets - tying his highest total against any team - and has batted .316 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 19 games against the Mets since the start of last season.

The Braves have won 13 of the past 17 against the Mets, who have surrendered eight first-inning runs over their last four games.