The Atlanta Braves may have had their winning streak snapped, but a matchup with Daisuke Matsuzaka might help them bounce back immediately.
They’ll look to trouble Matsuzaka again Monday night when they open up a four-game set with the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Atlanta (49-39) had won nine straight before a 3-1 home loss Sunday to Arizona. B.J. Upton was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts to end a career-best hitting streak at 11 games, and the Braves had no extra-base hits after seven of their 14 went for extras in Saturday’s 10-4 victory. They also totaled 12 hits in a 5-2 series-opening win Friday.
"We had a great run, had a great homestand," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Atlanta has also won 14 of 21 away from home, 12 of 18 at Citi Field and has fared well against Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.72 ERA).
The right-hander gave up five runs for the second straight outing Tuesday, yielding seven hits over five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Braves. He’s 1-3 with a 9.00 ERA in four career starts versus Atlanta, lasting five or fewer innings in each of the last three.
He gave up three of those runs Tuesday with two outs in the fourth inning.
"The first two outs came pretty easily but I just wasn’t able to finish off that inning with the last out," said Matsuzaka, who has lost three straight starts, through a translator.
Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons are each 3 for 7 against him. Freeman has also hit .407 with 18 RBIs in his last 15 matchups with the Mets, while Simmons has five straight multihit games overall.
New York (39-49) beat Texas 8-4 on Sunday for just its third win in 11 games. Anthony Recker’s three-run homer keyed a five-run first for the Mets, who also scored three first-inning runs in Friday’s 6-5 victory.
Ruben Tejada was 2 for 3 and added some cushion to the margin with an eighth-inning RBI.
"The kind of hit Ruben got in the eighth wins games," manager Terry Collins said.
The Mets will face Mike Minor (2-5, 4.73), who is 0-3 with a 5.21 ERA in eight outings since last winning on May 19. The left-hander, whose ERA is the worst on the team, allowed four runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings opposite Matsuzaka and left without a decision.
He’s 4-2 with a 5.14 ERA in 10 career starts against New York.
Tejada is 8 for 21 against him while Juan Lagares is 4 for 8.
Rookie Eric Campbell is 13 for 28 during a seven-game hitting streak and went 4 for 12 with six strikeouts in last week’s series.
David Wright was 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 11 games a day after returning from a shoulder injury. He hit .407 in six games versus Atlanta earlier this year.
The Braves’ bullpen has limited opponents to just four runs over the last 15 games, spanning 34 2-3 innings.
Atlanta, which swept last week’s three-game set, leads the season series 6-3.