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.
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.
"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.
|New York Mets|
|April 29, 2013||David Wright||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|April 23, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Lower right leg contusion|
|March 22, 2013||Jenrry Mejia||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Johan Santana||60-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
|March 22, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Neck strain|
|March 22, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Neck strain|
|April 25, 2013||Luis Ayala||15-Day DL||Anxiety disorder|
|April 23, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Appendectomy|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|April 20, 2013||Dan Uggla||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf strain|
|April 20, 2013||Blake DeWitt||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|April 16, 2013||Luis Avilan||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring injury|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and Mets manager Terry Collins see signs that their teams are both emerging from an offensive slump.
Despite having rain postpone Saturday's game, Gonzalez and Collins were pleased that their clubs looked better the night before as the Mets rallied for a 7-5 victory in 10 innings.
Atlanta and New York have suffered from inconsistency at the plate beyond a few players off to good starts.
The Braves have been led by Justin Upton , the NL player of the month for April, NL rookie of the month Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson , who began Friday as the NL batting leader. But B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and injured right fielder Jason Heyward are all hitting .179 or worse.
The good news for Atlanta, which has scored at least six runs only three times in the past 15 games, is six-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann should be back from the disabled list soon. McCann, who underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum last October, could be activated on Monday at Cincinnati.
Heyward will likely need another couple of weeks to recover from an appendectomy. When he returns, the Braves hope he flashes the talent that resulted in 27 homers, 82 RBIs and 21 stolen bases last year.
The Mets had gone 4-8 over their previous 12 games and were hitting .202 with runners in scoring position over that span, but John Buck , the NL RBI leader, had not disappointed, and the same was true of David Wright and Lucas Duda .
But Collins gave struggling first baseman Ike Davis the night off, and center fielder Collin Cowgill was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas before the game after hitting .155 with one homer and five RBIs in his previous 46 at-bats.
The Mets rediscovered their power stroke on Friday.
Buck kept up his torrid pace with a two-run homer in the first inning, and Lucas Duda followed with a solo shot in the second before Mike Minor settled down and retired the next 18 batters he faced.
In the eighth, New York became one of the few teams this year to solve a Braves bullpen that led the majors with a 1.94 ERA and was tied for the best opponents' batting average at .208.
"Usually when you give our guys a lead, they're going to shut it down," Gonzalez said. "But they ended up getting four runs against our bullpen from the eighth inning on. That doesn't usually happen against our guys."
Marlon Byrd homered off setup man Eric O'Flaherty to force a 4-all tie in the eighth. Wright homered off Atlanta Craig Kimbrel , one of the majors' most dominant closers over the last three years, to make it 5-5 in the ninth.
After scoring two runs in the 10th off Jordan Walden , the Mets had their first victory since Sept. 18, 1993 when trailing in the ninth at Atlanta.
Collins called it the most important victory of the year.
"I think it is, coming in here facing these guys who are leading the league," Collins said. "It's pretty special."
Sunday's game was expected to go on as scheduled even with heavy rain forecast in metro Atlanta until 9 a.m.
Both teams pushed their Saturday starters back one day with New York's Jonathon Niese (2-2) to face Julio Teheran (1-0).
On Tuesday at home against the Chicago White Sox, the Mets hope to get another boost from rookie starter Matt Harvey , the NL pitcher of the month who went 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and a .156 opponents' batting average in six April starts.
Tim Hudson , coming off his 200th career win, will pitch for Atlanta on Monday against the Reds.
The Braves announced that a makeup date for Saturday has yet to be determined. Tickets already purchased can be exchanged for the makeup game or for another game this season subject to availability.
Atlanta, which began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over Washington in the NL East, has lost three straight and 11 of 16.
New York has won two in a row after losing six straight.