Right-hander Ben Sheets meets the New York Mets for the second time in his 2012 comeback tonight when the Atlanta Braves go for a sweep in the finale of their three-game series at Citi Field.
Now 34 years old, Sheets was a 13-game winner for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 before injuries kept him out of the majors for all of 2009 and limited him to 20 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2010.
He didn't pitch in the majors at all in 2011 either, and only returned to the big leagues on July 15 when he tossed six innings of scoreless two-hit ball in a 6-1 defeat of the Mets at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Sheets won subsequent starts against Washington and Philadelphia while allowing a single run in 12 innings, before dropping a 4-2 verdict to Miami for his first loss since July 19, 2010.
One start since has resulted in one more win, which came in a 6-1 decision after he went a season-high 7 1/3 innings and allowed a run and seven hits at Philadelphia.
In the four wins, he's allowed just two runs in 25 1/3 innings.
Sheets is 5-2 in nine career starts against the Mets.
In Saturday's second game, Freddie Freeman clubbed a three-run home run as part of a seven-run second inning and knocked in five runs overall to help the Braves take a 9-3 victory.
Kris Medlen (3-1) allowed just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
Medlen helped his own cause with an RBI single and a run scored, while Michael Bourn registered three hits, two runs scored and an RBI as the Braves won their third straight game for the fifth time in their last six tries.
Andres Torres, Ruben Tejada and David Wright each plated a run for the Mets, who dropped their seventh straight meeting with Atlanta.
Johan Santana (6-8) was shelled for eight runs on eight hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings in his first start since July 20 after landing on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle.
"It's just one of those nights where I didn't execute pitches the way they're supposed to be executed," Santana said. "But overall I felt fine. I didn't feel anything in my ankle or my shoulder. I felt good."
New York ends the series with lefty Jonathon Niese, who faces the Braves for the 10th time in his 88th major-league appearance.
The 25-year-old Ohio native is 4-2 with a 3.66 earned run average in the previous nine starts against Atlanta, including a 7-5 in his first start of the 2012 season on April 8 in New York.
In that win, he allowed three runs on two hits - with seven strikeouts - in six innings.
The former seventh-round draft choice has split two starts in August, defeating San Francisco with seven innings of one-run ball on Aug. 1 and losing to Miami after allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings.
He's 4-3 in 11 home starts this season.
The Mets took their first four games against the Braves this season before losing six straight in which the Braves have outscored New York, 48-22.