11-5
6 - 0
8-8

Braves-Mets Preview

The Associated Press

The New York Mets are feeling good about themselves after a solid road trip that began when they took two of three from the Atlanta Braves.

That remains the lone series Atlanta has dropped.

The Braves will try to start a new winning streak in Friday night's opener of a three-game set in New York.

The Mets (8-7) are seeking to extend their season-high win streak to four games after sweeping Arizona to cap a 6-3 trip. Eric Young went 6 for 12 with five runs scored and three steals in the series and Daniel Murphy was 6 for 14 with five runs scored.

"I really want to continue this momentum going back home," Young said. "It was definitely a good road trip as a team. We put that first homestand behind us and now we can continue where we want to go."

New York's road success began when it took two of three in Atlanta (10-5) in which Young was 5 for 12 with five runs scored and five stolen bases. The left fielder has a .344 on-base percentage and is among the NL leaders with 12 runs scored and nine steals.

On April 8, Young swiped two bases on the battery of catcher Evan Gattis and Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96 ERA), who will take the mound Friday. Harang allowed one run and struck out a season-high nine over six innings in that 4-0 defeat in the Braves' home opener.

That outing marked Harang's first against the team that signed him Sept. 2. The veteran right-hander went 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts for the Mets after they purchased his contract from the minors Sept. 9.

David Wright went 0 for 3 versus Harang but is still 11 for 24 lifetime against him.

Atlanta star Freddie Freeman is off to a torrid start with a .389 average, four homers and 10 RBIs to hold or share the team lead in those departments. He is hitting .432 with three homers and 11 RBIs in a nine-game hit streak versus New York.

The Braves have totaled one run over their last two games, losing 1-0 at Philadelphia on Thursday as their five-game win streak was snapped.

"It was only three games, but we won the series," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Now we'll go to New York and try to win that series."

Gattis, who got Thursday off, is 9 for 13 with three homers in his last three games.

The Mets have one left-hander in their bullpen in Scott Rice, who didn't face Freeman earlier this month. The lefty-swinging Freeman is 2 for 6 against Rice.

"You've got to save him for that certain guy," said manager Terry Collins about Rice. "We've got the Braves coming in and so it's going to be Freddie Freeman."

Freeman is also a .333 hitter against left-hander Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46), who starts Friday for New York. Niese has yet to face the Braves this season, going 6-4 with a 3.62 ERA against them in 15 starts.

Justin Upton is 8 for 15 off Niese and Jason Heyward 9 for 24 with two homers.

Heyward will be facing Niese for the first time since the lefty hit him with a fastball that broke his jaw last season. The injury Aug. 21 required surgery that left Heyward with two metal plates in his jaw and landed him on the disabled list for a month.

The Mets' Chris Young is expected to return Friday for the first time since April 2 after being out with a quadriceps injury.

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