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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Preview : Game 113 - Braves at Mets - Mets try to take 2 out of 3

Atlanta Braves (65-49) at New York Mets (56-56), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Mike Minor (1-2, 4.59) New York - Dillon Gee (10-3, 3.69)

The New York Mets were able to get back into the win column and look to remain there when they wrap up a three-game series Sunday versus the NL East-rival Atlanta Braves from Citi Field.

New York had lost five in a row before evening its series with Atlanta by recording an 11-7 win last night. Justin Turner clubbed two of New York's four home runs and finished with four RBI, while Jason Bay and Josh Thole got into the long ball act for the Mets, who are 1-3 on a rain-shortened nine-game homestand. Bay ended with three RBI, and both Angel Pagan and Thole contributed three hits in a winning effort.

"I know he's got a little power, but I haven't seen the opposite field like that," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Turner. "I'm happy for him too because he's one of those guys that shows up, wants to play and wants to play well."

David Wright had a hit, an RBI and a run scored for the Mets and entered the game batting .400 with a .414 on-base percentage. Wright was recently sidelined with a back injury.

Mets starter Jon Niese held on for the win -- his 11th of the season -- despite surrendering five runs and 10 hits in five innings. The Mets will also host San Diego for four games on this residency.

Young right-hander Dillon Gee has been a nice surprise for New York this season and will take the mound this afternoon. Gee has won two of his last three starts and was previously in action in last Friday's 8-5 win at Washington. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 10-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 20 games (17 starts).

Gee is unbeaten against Atlanta this season, going 2-0 with a minuscule 0.54 ERA in three starts. He is 2-1 in four career starts in this series and 5-2 with a 2.85 ERA in 10 games (8 starts) at home this season.

The Braves were counting on sending All-Star Jair Jurrjens to the mound Sunday, but he was placed on the disabled list with a right knee strain. Instead, Mike Minor will get the nod and was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Minor is 1-2 with a 4.59 ERA in six starts and was last in the majors on June 21, when the Braves handed Toronto a 5-1 setback. Minor hurled seven innings of one-run ball that day and struck out eight batters. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-8 win over the Mets on June 16 and is 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against New York.

Before the Trade Deadline, the Mets were in discussions about the Minor for Beltran, but the the Braves were reluctant to deal him or any one of their fine pitching prospects.

Dan Uggla extended his career-best streak to 27 games with an infield single as part of a five-run third inning. Uggla has the longest active hit streak in the majors and the fourth-longest in Braves history. He is four games behind Rico Carty's team-record of 31 set during the 1970 season.

Freddie Freeman also pushed his career-best hitting streak to 20 games with a broken-bat RBI single to center field in the third inning. Freeman has the second-longest rookie hit streak in Braves history. Alvin Dark hit in 23 straight for the Boston Braves in 1948.

"We're pulling for each other," Uggla said. "I love watching him [Freeman] hit. He's a special kid. I'm sure he's just as excited to see what I'm doing."

Braves starter Tommy Hanson was trying to win 12 games in a season for the first time and absorbed the loss for allowing eight hits and seven runs over just 3 1/3 innings of work.

Atlanta had a modest two-game winning streak stopped and lost for the fourth time in six tries. It will head to Florida for three games after this set.

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