Atlanta Braves (69-64) at New York Mets (62-71), 7:10 p.m. (ET)
08/28/2014 10:36 AM
08/28/2014 10:39 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Minor hopes for a little run support on Thursday when the Atlanta Braves wrap up a three-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Minor flirted with a no-hitter on Friday in Cincinnati and only surrendered one run and one hit with four walks over 7 2/3 innings. However, he did not get a decision in his team's 3-1 win.
"His command was outstanding and he had stuff that was electric," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's carrying that momentum, and you can see the confidence building by every start, every pitch."
After having a scheduled start skipped earlier this month, Minor has been sensational. In three outings since then, he's posted a 2.53 ERA. In his 10 prior starts, he had a 7.33 ERA. His decline came after a breakout season in 2013 in which he posted a career-best 3.21 ERA and a start to the 2014 campaign that included a 3.07 ERA through his first seven outings
"It was kind of, 'Let's start fresh right here and finish the season strong,'" Minor said of a conversation he had with Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell.
He is 5-8 overall on the year with a 4.90 ERA.
New York, meanwhile, will counter with a lefty of its own in Jon Niese, who has lost five of his last seven starts. Niese was defeated in Los Angeles on Friday, but was victimized by three errors, as he surrendered five runs (2 earned) and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, dropping him to 7-9 on the year to go along with a 3.47 ERA.
On Wednesday, Julio Teheran pitched well into the seventh inning, Andrelton Simmons made at least one game-saving defensive play and Atlanta held on for a 3-2 win.
Simmons prevented the tying run from scoring when he gunned down Travis d'Arnaud from shallow left field to end the eighth inning after chasing down a ground ball in the hole.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel put the first two runners on base in the ninth but got three straight outs to preserve the win and end his team's three-game losing streak.
"He's our ace. He's our No. 1," Simmons said of Teheran. "He's been pitching great. He battled today. He went deep in the game and gave us a chance."
Wilmer Flores homered for the Mets, who played without injured stars David Wright (neck spasms) and Daniel Murphy (calf) for the second game in a row.
Zack Wheeler (9-9) retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced for New York in a tough loss. The righty lost for the first time in his last 11 starts despite allowing just four hits and two earned runs while striking out seven.
"Giving up that leadoff home run to Heyward and letting guys on. I was supposed to go out there and put up zeros and I didn't do that today," said Wheeler.
Atlanta has won eight of its 15 matchups with the Mets this season.
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