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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Preview: Game 134 - Braves at Mets - Minor vs Niese

Preview: Game 134
Atlanta Braves (69-64) at New York Mets (62-71)

Probable Pitchers:
Mike Minor (5-8, 4.90 ERA) vs Jon Niese (7-9, 3.47 ERA)
TV - SNY - WOR 710 AM - First Pitch: 7:10 PM


Jason Heyward continues to enjoy a torrid stretch away from home and he's also done well when facing Jonathon Niese, but you can't blame the Atlanta Braves right fielder if he's a bit timid when he steps into the batter's box in Thursday night's matchup.

That's because he'll be facing Niese for the first time since the New York Mets left-hander fractured his jaw with a pitch just over a year ago.

Atlanta (69-64) has scored three runs or fewer in six of seven games, and Heyward could be the key to getting things going as he's hit .416 with 13 RBIs and 15 runs over his last 18 road contests.

He's also 9 for 24 with two homers and two doubles against Niese (7-9, 3.47 ERA). But in their last matchup on Aug. 21, 2013, in New York, a fastball got away from Niese and drilled Heyward in the jaw, causing him to miss a month.

The Braves snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 3-2 victory despite recording five hits, one of which was Heyward's leadoff home run.

They now go up against Niese, who has strung together three straight quality starts after recording a 5.76 ERA during a four-start losing streak.

He suffered a 6-2 road defeat to the Dodgers on Friday, though he only surrendered two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. All three unearned runs came after a two-out throwing error in the seventh by Wilmer Flores.

Niese also took a tough-luck loss in his only start against Atlanta this year, allowing a run over six innings in a 6-0 defeat April 18. He's posted quality starts in eight of his last 11 matchups, though he's winless in four straight.

Fellow left-hander Mike Minor (5-8, 4.90) gets the ball for the Braves. He's pitched much better of late, posting a 2.53 ERA over his last three starts.

Minor held Cincinnati hitless Friday until the eighth when he surrendered a two-out single on his final pitch. The 7 2/3 innings were his most since completing eight in a 3-1 loss against the White Sox on July 21, 2013.

Minor is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in his last six matchups with the Mets. He limited New York to two runs and two hits over seven innings in Atlanta's 4-3, 11-inning loss at Citi Field on July 7.

New York (62-71) is hoping to get David Wright (neck spasms) and Daniel Murphy (calf) back after both missed their second straight games Wednesday. Wright tested out his neck with some indoor cage work earlier in the day.

Justin Upton, who is 9 for 17 against Niese, was held hitless for the third time in four contests Wednesday following a 13-game hitting streak.

Batters vs Pitchers:

Andrew Brown51001112.200.333.8001.133
Eric Campbell52000011.400.500.400.900
Travis d'Arnaud51100103.200.200.400.600
Lucas Duda196101115.316.350.526.876
Curtis Granderson123001202.250.250.500.750
Juan Lagares114100002.364.364.455.818
Daniel Murphy213201504.143.136.381.517
Anthony Recker20000012.000.333.000.333
Josh Satin111001001.0001.0002.0003.000
Ruben Tejada228200023.364.417.455.871
David Wright236203437.261.333.7391.072
Eric Young Jr.20000011.000.333.000.333
Emilio Bonifacio72000000.
Jose Constanza31000100.333.333.333.667
Ryan Doumit41000223.250.571.250.821
Freddie Freeman309202603.300.300.567.867
Evan Gattis51000012.200.333.200.533
Phil Gosselin00000010.0001.000.0001.000
Jason Heyward249202825.375.444.7081.153
Chris Johnson154200314.267.313.400.713
Gerald Laird74200211.571.625.8571.482
Tyler Pastornicky31000000.333.333.333.667
Andrelton Simmons135100010.385.429.462.890
Joey Terdoslavich31000001.333.333.333.667
B.J. Upton91000025.
Justin Upton179100232.529.600.5881.188
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