The Atlanta Braves will take their current six-game winning streak to the road and haven't played so well away from Turner Field. The test begins Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the New York Mets.
The Braves have lost 10 of the past 14 road games and are 13-13 as the guest, as opposed to a 15-5 record at Turner Field. They'll have to carry that momentum on the road for five straight games and are coming off back-to-back three-game sweeps of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins. The Braves recorded an 8-3 win in Wednesday's finale with the Twins, as Evan Gattis hit a grand slam and B.J. Upton had a solo homer as part of a five-run fourth inning for the NL East leaders.
"It's good to come in and win the amount of games we did, especially after the road trip we came off," Upton said of a 4-6 mark the last time Atlanta left town. "It's just good to win ball games all together. It's still early, it's only getting close to the end of May and there's a lot of baseball left to be played."
Ramiro Pena also homered for Atlanta, which got 7 1/3 solid innings from starter Paul Maholm. Maholm allowed one unearned run and seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Atlanta looks to keep rolling when it sends Kris Medlen to the mound Friday night. Medlen is 1-3 in five road assignments this season and 0-4 in his previous seven outings overall. Medlen pitched well the last time out in Saturday's 3-1 win versus the Dodgers and permitted only an unearned run and two hits through seven innings for the no-decision. The Braves scored three times in the bottom of the eighth.
The right-handed Medlen has made 15 lifetime appearances, five of which have been starts, against the Mets, going 3-0 with a 1.58 ERA.
Meanwhile, the struggling Mets will continue an eight-game homestand that began with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. In Wednesday's 7-4 loss at Citi Field, the Reds scored three runs in the top of the ninth off Mets reliever Bobby Parnell and Aroldis Chapman worked around a hit in the bottom half for his 10th save.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis misplayed a ball down the first-base line on a Brandon Phillips hit in the ninth and pulled back his glove in hopes of the ball rolling foul. However, the ball hit chalk and Shin-Soo Choo scored for the Reds. Parnell then gave up a pinch-hit two-run single to Todd Frazier.
Daniel Murphy and Rick Ankiel both had three hits and two RBI for the Mets, who have lost six in a row at home and are just 2-11 in the past 13 contests at Citi Field. Mets starter Matt Harvey did not record a decision and was reached for four runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.
"You're going to have those days. You're not going to have pinpoint location every time," said Harvey, who struck out six and walked three. "I needed to put up zeros today and I didn't do that."
Hoping to change the misfortunes for New York tonight will be Jeremy Hefner. That's asking a lot because the Mets have lost all nine of Hefner's appearances this season with the right-hander 0-5 in nine games (8 starts) with a 5.00 earned run average. Hefner sustained defeat in Saturday's 8-2 road loss to the Chicago Cubs and was charged with four runs and five hits in four innings.
Hefner has faced the Braves twice in his career and is 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA.
New York and Atlanta split a weather-shortened two-game series earlier this month as a May 4 contest was postponed. The Braves have won 13 of the last 16 matchups between the clubs.