Mets-Braves Preview

Evan Gattis is headed for the disabled list, but the Atlanta Braves might be on their way to their longest winning streak of the season.

The New York Mets didn’t look capable of stopping them in the opener of this three-game series.

The Braves attempt to capitalize on another meeting with the sputtering Mets as they aim for a sixth straight win Tuesday night.

In his first season as Atlanta’s regular catcher, Gattis is hitting .290 while tying Justin Upton with a team-high 16 homers, but a bulging thoracic disk in his back has him slated to hit the disabled list Tuesday.

Gattis has been out of the lineup since Friday, but so far the Braves (45-38) have done just fine without him as rookie Christian Bethancourt and veteran Gerald Laird have filled in. Atlanta needed a little help to keep the streak going Monday, though, taking advantage of three New York errors in the eighth inning to score four runs and rally for a 5-3 win.

"We were never giving up, never giving any at-bats away," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It’s the perfect example of putting the ball in play."

Freddie Freeman has a .423 average with 17 RBIs in his last 13 meetings with the Mets. The first baseman did plenty of damage without even getting a hit Monday, going 0 for 1 with three walks – one with the bases loaded that scored Bethancourt – and driving in another run on a sacrifice fly.

He’s 2 for 4 with a double and a homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2, 3.23 ERA), who gets the ball for New York.

Mike Minor (2-5, 4.50) wouldn’t mind seeing that type of production since he’s 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in his last four starts. He allowed five runs in six innings of his latest, a 6-1 loss at Houston on Thursday, with the big blow coming on a three-run homer in the fifth – the 11th Minor has allowed this season.

The left-hander has allowed 1.50 homers per nine innings this season – 126th of 135 pitchers to make at least 10 starts.

"I don’t think (the home runs are) a problem if I’m only giving up one or two runs a game and still going six or seven innings," Minor told MLB’s official website. "I think it’s a problem when I don’t go six or seven innings and I give up more than three runs and it’s not a quality start, that’s when I really worry about it."

Minor gave up three solo homers and one other run in six innings of a 4-3 home loss when he last faced the Mets on June 20, 2013.

New York has dropped five of six behind a 6.00 ERA from the rotation, and one of those suspect starts came from Matsuzaka.

The right-hander was hammered at Pittsburgh on Thursday, surrendering five runs, five hits and four walks while hitting a batter in six innings of a 5-2 loss.

Matsuzaka’s only visit to Turner Field was even worse, as he gave up six runs in three innings of a 13-5 defeat Sept. 2. He’s 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three career starts against the Braves.