The Atlanta Braves' longest winning streak of the season began last week when Julio Teheran delivered his latest solid outing.
With Teheran facing the slumping New York Mets on Wednesday night, the Braves seem primed to extend their run to seven consecutive victories while dealing their NL East rivals a fourth straight defeat.
Teheran (7-5, 2.34 ERA) was terrific for the third straight start in Friday's 4-2 win over Philadelphia, giving up two runs - one earned - and striking out nine in seven innings to help Atlanta (46-38) begin its streak.
The right-hander has struck out 25 while walking two over 25 innings during a hot stretch in which he's gone 1-1 with a 2.05 ERA. He ranks among the NL's best in ERA and is making a case to be selected for this month's All-Star Game.
"It's fun when he gets two or three pitches working. He can be really tough on hitters," catcher Gerald Laird told MLB's official website. "Julio stepped up and made pitches when he needed to (Friday), and that's what the good ones do."
Teheran is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three career starts against the Mets (37-47), who have lost six of seven after falling 5-4 Tuesday. Atlanta will be going for the sweep after tying its season high with three stolen bases that led to a pair of runs.
"It's nice to play small ball, stealing bases and running the bases good, going first to third," said Andrelton Simmons, who had a two-run single in Atlanta's three-run fourth.
Catcher Christian Bethancourt registered his first career RBI with a second-inning single. Bethancourt started his second straight game and is expected to share time with Laird after Evan Gattis, hitting .290 and tied for the team lead with 16 homers, was placed on the disabled list earlier Tuesday with a bulging disc in his back.
Freddie Freeman, who is hitting .411 in his last 14 against the Mets, tied the game with an RBI double in the third. The Braves went 3 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
"There's a reason why they're winning. There's a reason why they've won," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They do have a knack for it. Those are the kind of players they have over there. They're tough in the clutch, boy, they're very tough."
The Mets are 1-5 on a trip that ends with this contest before they begin a 10-game homestand Friday that includes a four-game set with the Braves starting Monday.
Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy each hit a two-run homer in Tuesday's loss. Ruben Tejada is batting .351 during a 10-game hitting streak, improving his average 29 points to .247 in that stretch.
New York will look to end its skid with help from Jacob deGrom, who has been inconsistent since his call-up from Triple-A on May 15.
DeGrom (1-4, 3.62) had a 1.83 ERA through his first three starts, then posted a 6.75 mark in his next four. The rookie has been better over the last two, giving up five hits in seven innings of a 4-0 win over Miami for his first major league victory June 21 before allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2, 11-inning loss to Pittsburgh on Friday.
"He threw the ball very well (Friday), he really did," Collins said. "Made pitches, velocity was up. It was impressive."
The right-hander will make his first career start against Atlanta, which has won four of the last five meetings.
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