The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets know that they will play at least 10 innings of baseball on Saturday night. But with the clubs set to complete a tied suspended contest before beginning the second of a three- game weekend series, it is shaping up to be a long night at Citi Field for the two teams.
Rain forced the suspension of last night's opener with the score tied at 5-5 heading into the ninth inning. The Braves took a two-run lead on Evan Gattis' pinch-hit single that plated a pair of runs in the top of the eighth, but the Mets rallied through ugly conditions to even the game in the bottom of the frame.
With two outs and runners on first and second, New York's Daniel Murphy laced his third hit of the game, a single into center to score John Buck.
B.J. Upton committed a fielding error on the play, which allowed Ruben Tejada to advance to third. The blunder proved costly as the Mets brought the tying run home when reliever Anthony Varvaro's pitch skipped past his catcher. Tejada raced to the plate and just beat the throw to make it 5-5.
After Rick Ankiel struck out to end the inning, the game was delayed for 76 minutes before being postponed. It will resume at 6:10 p.m. (ET) followed by the regularly-scheduled game at 7:15 p.m. or 30 minutes after the end of the suspended game.
"I don't know if it's going to hurt," manager Terry Collins said on the Mets' website of his team's momentum. "It all depends on (Saturday), the outcome. If this first game goes 15 innings, we're going to be in trouble. So will they."
The Braves have a six-game winning streak on the line, while the Mets are looking to win for just the fourth time in their past 14 games.
Once the first game is completed, Mike Minor will try to stay unbeaten in five straight starts as he takes the hill for the Braves in the second game.
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.36 earned run average over his last four outings since his last loss on April 28. After winning two straight appearances, Minor did not factor into his club's 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. He allowed just two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over six innings, striking out a season-high nine and retiring the final 11 batters faced prior to a rain delay.
Minor is 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA on the season and did not get a decision when the Braves dropped a 7-5 decision to the Mets on May 3. The 25-year-old gave up three runs over seven innings, but two of the three hits he gave up were homers. He was touched for a two-run shot by Buck in the first inning and was also taken deep by Lucas Duda for a solo homer in the second.
Minor is 3-1 in seven career meetings with the Mets, posting a 5.63 ERA.
The Mets hope that Dillon Gee can get on track as he makes his 10th start of the season.
The 27-year-old righty has not logged more than five innings pitched in four straight outings and in six of his nine starts this season. He is 2-5 with a 6.04 ERA and did not get a decision in New York's 4-3 win at the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Gee was decent, giving up three runs on eight hits over five frames. He also matched a season high with six strikeouts, but one of the two home runs he allowed was to Cubs pitcher Travis Wood in the fifth inning, a two-run hit that snapped a scoreless game.
"Wood hitting the home run kind of surprised me because I'd been throwing so many sliders to him," Gee said. "I thought there was no way he was hitting it."
Gee has yet to face the Braves this season and is 3-2 against them in his career with a 3.13 ERA in eight meetings.
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.