Braves-Mets Preview

The Associated Press

While the Atlanta Braves continue to roll, the New York Mets remain in a free fall.

The Braves can win nine in a row by handing the Mets a ninth consecutive home loss Sunday night.

Things proved doubly delightful Saturday for Atlanta (30-18) after it won the conclusion of Friday's suspended game 7-5 in 10 innings, then rolled to a 6-0 victory over New York in the regularly scheduled contest. The Braves, who won 10 straight from April 5-16, have outscored their last eight opponents 47-21.

Atlanta has won 15 of 18 over the Mets (17-29), including five straight and seven of eight at Citi Field. New York is 0-5 on an eight-game homestand and in the midst of its longest slide in Queens since it dropped nine straight Sept. 7-20.

"As I said before, when you're playing bad baseball, you've got to play perfect baseball to win," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "And so when we don't execute some things, certainly it comes back to hurt us."

Dan Uggla hit an RBI single in the 10th inning of the suspended game that the Braves led 5-3 before the Mets scored twice in the bottom of the eighth before the rains came.

"Sometimes you wonder how long these games will last,'' Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I'm glad we were able to finish it off.''

Mike Minor then allowed three hits and struck out 10 over 7 1-3 innings, and hit a two-run homer for the Braves. Chris Johnson added two more hits, and is batting .542 (13 for 24) in his last eight games after he went 0 for 17 in his previous six.

Teammate Freddie Freeman is batting .444 (8 for 18) with two homers and seven RBIs against the Mets this season.

Freeman and Johnson are a combined 3 for 19 against scheduled New York starter Shaun Marcum (0-5, 6.59 ERA), who is 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in four starts against the Braves. The only start Marcum did not lose this season came when he gave up three runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 7-5 win at Atlanta on May 3.

The right-hander struck out a season-high seven but allowed three of his four runs in the first inning and lasted six in Monday's 4-3 loss to Cincinnati.

"We've been through this now for what, five starts? I get hit, it's location. I made four or five mistakes today and they all got hit,'' Marcum said. "Got to limit the mistakes.''

The Braves counter with Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.99), who allowed 13 runs in 16 innings while not earning a decision in his first three starts, but has yielded nine in 33 2-3 innings over the last five. He gave up a homer and four other hits in 8 1-3 innings of a 5-1 win over Minnesota on Monday.

"For the experience of being out there in the ninth inning - maybe he was a little tired - but you've got to dig deep a little bit,'' Gonzalez said. "It was good for him.''

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA in two appearances against the Mets. In his only start in 2011 at Citi Field, he gave up a run in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 victory.

It's uncertain how much Teheran will see of New York's Ike Davis, who is 2 for 44 (.045) with 19 strikeouts in his last 13 games.

What to Read Next