A rare outburst offensively has sparked consecutive victories, and the New York Mets appear to have a decent chance to keep swinging hot bats Saturday night at Turner Field.
The Mets look to match a season high with their third straight win as they face Julio Teheran, who has been the Atlanta Braves' least effective starter but has seen them win all of his games.
After totaling 11 runs and hitting .165 with three homers during its season-worst six-game losing streak, New York (12-15) has scored 14 times while batting .263 with six homers in back-to-back victories.
David Wright provided one of the big blows Friday with a game-tying homer off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning before New York scored twice in the 10th to win 7-5.
"He's as dominant as anybody in the game," Wright said of Kimbrel, who allowed a home run for the first time since Aug. 31. "You've just got to hope he makes a minor mistake or really you don't have much of a chance."
Wright, who also homered in a 7-6 win at Miami on Wednesday, now tries to lead New York to its first three-game win streak since April 6-8.
The Mets notched their second victory in nine games in Atlanta while tying a season high with four homers, and they'll look to continue that kind of production as they face Teheran (1-0, 5.08 ERA).
Opponents are hitting .333 against the right-hander, who has the worst ERA of any pitcher on the Braves' active roster. He has one quality start in five tries - every other Atlanta starter has at least four - but the Braves (17-12) have won all of them while scoring a combined 31 runs.
Teheran, though, has managed to avoid the big inning lately, allowing three runs despite 18 hits over 12 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He surrendered 10 hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings Monday, not getting a decision in a 3-2 win over Washington.
"We're watching him grow up in front of our eyes," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The East-leading Braves haven't given their pitchers much support following a 12-1 start, hitting .226 with 156 strikeouts while dropping 11 of 16.
Atlanta, however, has batted .295 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs over the last nine home games against the Mets. Evan Gattis hit his seventh homer Friday, Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and B.J. Upton had two hits to break a 1-for-22 slump.
"Our offense went out there and did what they had to do," said Kimbrel, who blew his second save in three games. "They scored when we needed to score, and we weren't just able to hold it down."
The Braves hope to do some damage against left-hander Jonathon Niese (2-2, 3.31), winless in his last three starts while getting three runs of support.
Niese allowed three runs - one earned - in 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, showing no ill effects from the comebacker that hit him near the right ankle and knocked him out of his previous start.
"It felt good," said Niese, who threw a season-high 117 pitches. "I was able to pound the zone with all of my pitches for the most part."
Niese is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts against the Braves since the start of the 2011 season, yielding three runs in 21 innings over the last three.
Two of those runs came off homers by Freddie Freeman, but the first baseman is homerless since opening day.
Justin Upton is 5 for 11 off Niese without a homer, and he hasn't gone deep in a season-high six consecutive games but still leads the majors with 12 home runs.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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