Rookie right-hander Matt Harvey will make his Citi Field debut as the New York Mets open a three-game set with their National League East rivals, the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets snapped an ugly nine-game skid on their home field Thursday behind All-Star R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer went the distance and Andres Torres fell a single shy of the cycle as New York avoided a sweep with a 6-1 decision over Miami in the finale of a three-game set.
Dickey (15-3) scattered five hits and one run, fanning 10 to record his fourth complete game of the season.
Torres finished 3-for-3, drove in three and scored twice for the Mets, who snapped the nine-game losing streak, which was the franchise's longest since moving to Citi Field in 2009.
"That nine-game streak that was stopped today is more important than that 15th win," Dickey said.
Atlanta comes in 4 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead after taking two of three in Philadelphia. Dan Uggla's three-run double in the seventh inning helped the Braves take a 12-6 win in the rubber match of that series on Wednesday.
Uggla went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Michael Bourn was 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, three RBI and two runs scored for the Braves, who took the front and back end of the series.
"It's been a constant grind this season," said Uggla. "I've been lucky my teammates have picked me up and tonight was my turn to pick them up. This is a confidence booster and it will help me relax more."
Harvey will take the hill on Friday trying to halt the Mets' five-game hiccup against Atlanta and is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his first three major league starts, all on the road. He set a Mets' record with 11 strikeouts during his big league debut on July 26 against Arizona but has stumbled since and allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings Sunday in a 7-3 loss at San Diego.
"He said the other day, the one thing he's been looking forward to is pitching (at Citi Field)," Mets manager Terry Collins told the team's website. "He's going to have 100 people here, it's going to be a very special night for him to pitch his first game at home in front of his friends and family, and I'm anxious to see it."
Opposing Harvey will be veteran Paul Maholm, who was acquired by the Braves before the non-waiver trade deadline. The lefty pitched well in his Atlanta debut on Saturday but came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss to Houston.
The Mets took their first four tests against the Braves this season before losing the five straight in which the Braves have outscored New York by a gaudy 44-22 margin.