The Braves will attempt to win two in a row for only the second time this month and stay perfect in Medlen starts against the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
After dropping two of three to open the second half, Atlanta (56-43) bounced back Monday by rallying for two runs off Mets closer Bobby Parnell in the ninth inning for a 2-1 victory at Citi Field.
Reed Johnson delivered the go-ahead RBI single as the NL East-leading Braves won for the seventh time in 16 games. Their only consecutive wins this month came in Miami on July 8-9.
Having Medlen (6-9, 3.64 ERA) on the mound against the Mets would figure to give Atlanta an excellent chance at winning two in a row again.
After going 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA over a six-start stretch, he has given up 11 runs and 17 hits over 9 1-3 innings in losses to Philadelphia and Cincinnati."I'm trying to make adjustments and it comes down to, in the game, making the adjustments stick," said Medlen after allowing four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings of a 4-2 loss to the Reds on July 12. "It hasn't gotten there for me."
That certainly hasn't been the case when Medlen has faced the Mets (43-52). He's 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA in seven career starts against them - all Atlanta victories.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 13 innings in two starts versus New York this season.
The Mets have been better offensively of late, averaging 5.5 runs while winning 10 of 16 before they were held to five hits in Monday's loss.
New York is scheduled to send Carlos Torres (0-1, 0.79) to the mound for his second start after 10 relief appearances.
The right-hander pitched well in his rotation debut, allowing one run over five innings before the Mets' bullpen blew the lead in a 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh on July 13."He threw the ball great for as long as he could go," manager Terry Collins said. "He's going to be a good addition to our rotation."
Torres makes his first career start against the Braves, though he's held them scoreless over 7 1-3 innings in four games out of the bullpen. He struck out four in 2 1-3 hitless innings in a 5-3 loss at Turner Field on June 19.
Jason Heyward returned to the Braves just in time Monday, making an outstanding diving catch with the potential winning run on base for the game's final out. Heyward, who went 0 for 3 with a walk, had missed six games with a right hamstring strain."I want to make every play I can," the Gold Glove outfielder said. "If I try to play it on the hop it probably gets by me. The safe way there was probably not the best."
|July 21, 2013||Paul Maholm||15-Day DL||Left wrist contusion|
|July 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||15-Day DL||Right adductor strain|
|July 11, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right hamstring|
|July 04, 2013||Jordan Schafer||15-Day DL||Right ankle contusion|
|July 02, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - left forearm spasms|
|June 18, 2013||Evan Gattis||15-Day DL||Oblique strain|
|New York Mets|
|July 13, 2013||LaTroy Hawkins||Day-to-Day||Sore right triceps|
|July 09, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Thoracic outlet syndrome|
|July 08, 2013||Shaun Marcum||Day-to-Day||Right hand numbness|
|June 22, 2013||Lucas Duda||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal|
|June 21, 2013||Jonathon Niese||15-Day DL||Partially torn left rotator cuff|
|June 20, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shoulder discomfort|
NEW YORK (AP) -- If the New York Mets are going to make a run toward respectability, they will need a few more performances from Carlos Torres and Ike Davis like the ones they gave Tuesday night.
Torres pitched six impressive innings as a fill-in starter and had an RBI single, Davis turned an angry crowd in his favor with a go-ahead double in a three-run sixth and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1.
"It's a big boost," manager Terry Collins said of Torres' efforts in his second start of the season.
John Buck had a run-scoring single and Juan Lagares a sacrifice fly in a sixth inning that helped the Mets beat Atlanta's Kris Medlen (6-10) for the first time in eight starts.
Torres (1-1) gave up seven hits, including a home run to Andrelton Simmons on the second pitch of the game, and pitched out of trouble in the first four innings of his first outing in 10 days. The one run actually caused his ERA to increase to 0.94 in 28 2-3 innings this season - 12 appearances.
The 30-year-old right-hander made his first start for the Mets on July 13, when Matt Harvey was skipped ahead of the All-Star game. With Jonathon Niese on the disabled list because of a partial tear in his rotator cuff and Shaun Marcum out after having shoulder surgery - he was placed on waivers earlier Tuesday - Torres earned another start after working five innings of one-run ball against Pittsburgh.
"We needed somebody to step up, and he stepped up for us," Collins said.
Torres got his second win as a starter, the first since he was with the Chicago White Sox in September 2009.
"Just as long as the team gets the win I'm happy," Torres said.
Bobby Parnell bounced back from wasting a 1-0, ninth-inning lead in a 2-1 loss Monday night to pitch a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
Fourth place in the NL East, the Mets have won seven of 11 and improved to 44-52, only three-games back of second place Philadelphia.
The Braves had ample opportunities to pad their lead in the early innings. But they went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position over the first four innings and were 1 for 8 overall. In the first, Lagares threw out Jason Heyward at home by a large margin to end the first inning when he tried to score on Evan Gattis ' single to center field.
The NL East leaders fell to 2-3 on their seven-game trip.
Medlen, who lost his third straight start, is used to the lack of support. Coming in, Atlanta had averaged 2.3 runs while he is in the game.
While the Braves were squandering chances, the Mets took advantage of their first baserunners - in the third.
Lagares, the NL player of the week, doubled just inside the right field line and scored on Torres' slapped single through a draw-in infield to tie it at 1.
"To tell you the truth I was actually kind of upset," Torres said. "Not because I got the hit, I was happy about that. I jammed myself."
New York went ahead for good in the sixth when Medlen appeared to lose his touch.
"It was almost two different pitchers going the first five innings and then going out there in the sixth," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I don't know if it was just command or leaving balls out over the plate, but the swings got better in the sixth than in the first five innings."
Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled leading off. After Charles Johnson lunged toward third base to snare Marlon Byrd 's grounder and then throw to second off one knee for the force, Davis lined a double off the base of the wall in right field to give New York the lead.
"These are all confidence-building things," Collins said of Davis' hit off a two-strike curveball.
Relentlessly booed after bunting back to the mound and striking out in his first two at-bats, the slumping Davis was given a huge ovation as he stood on second base.
"The crowd gets on me no matter what," Davis said. "It's fun for them."
Batting just .176 coming in, Davis drove in a run for a second straight game after not notching an RBI since July 5, his first game back from the minor leagues.
Buck followed with a single to center for a 3-1 lead that chased Medlen. Lagares' flyout to right field added another run.
Medlen gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He dropped to 4-1 in 18 outings against New York.
"I've been making more mistakes than I have been in the past," Medlen said. "Like I say, I'm just trying to make the adjustments and fix it while I can."
NOTES: The Braves are 25-29 on the road. ... Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia will start the opener of a doubleheader in Washington on Friday. The 23-year-old Mejia had Tommy John surgery in June 2011. He made five September appearances last year, but has been on the DL since the end of spring training with elbow inflammation. Collins said: "We wanted him to understand - what he's hearing today about (Zack) Wheeler, (Matt) Harvey, was all about Jenrry Mejia three years ago in the same vain." ... Gonzalez was still gushing about Jason Heyward 's game-ending diving catch Monday night, saying it might've been the best catch he's seen all season. ... It was "Star Wars" night at Citi Field. ... There was a sunshower before the game.