Mets look to salvage split against Braves, Teheran

The Atlanta Braves are hopeful that Julio Teheran will hold form when he faces the New York Mets on Wednesday and give his team a chance to win the four-game series at SunTrust Park.

Teheran (4-2, 4.20) will square off against New York’s Jason Vargas (1-3, 10.62) in the final game of the rain-plagued series in Atlanta. The Braves have won two of the first three games and have claimed seven of nine meetings against the Mets.

Vargas is taking the start in place of Noah Syndergaard, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore right finger. The club is hopeful the big right-hander will only miss one start. He missed 4 1/2 months with a torn lat muscle last year.

Teheran was a tough-luck loser in his last start when he allowed three runs on only four hits in six innings of a loss to Boston.

Teheran has feasted on the Mets throughout his career. In 22 appearances, 21 starts, the right-hander is 9-5 with a 2.32 ERA. In his last start against the Mets on May 3, Teheran allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out six.

He is tied for the club lead with six quality starts and has received 3.4 runs of support per game. The Braves are 8-3 in Teheran’s starts.

A couple of New York regulars have had success against Teheran: Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .310 with three doubles and Jay Bruce has two home runs.

Vargas will be making his sixth start of the season and he has not yet pitched more than five innings. Other than a game against Miami where he threw five scoreless innings, Vargas has not pitched well. He allowed five runs in three innings of his last start on May 26 at Milwaukee, the fourth time he’s allowed four or more runs.

“They weren’t ready to lay down at all,” Vargas said of the Brewers. “They were ready to come right back. I didn’t think I made many bad pitches.”

Vargas started against the Braves on May 3 and gave up six runs on 11 hits, three of them homers, in 4 2/3 innings. In three career appearances, two starts, against Atlanta, he’s 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA.

Atlanta has continued to show resilience in the late innings. The Braves have scored 100 runs in the seventh inning or later and have overcome five deficits in the ninth inning or later, the second most in baseball and only one behind St. Louis.

“The main thing is they’re grinding out at-bats,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It helps when you have guys who never stop grinding at-bats and doing great things.”

The Braves have two walk-off wins against the Mets in this series. Charlie Culberson delivered a ninth-inning homer to win the first game of Monday’s doubleheader and Johan Camargo ripped a solo homer in the ninth inning to win Tuesday’s game as the Braves rallied from a 6-2 deficit.

Atlanta has now won 45 games in its final at-bat since Snitker became the manager in 2016. Over the last two seasons, the Braves have scored 375 runs in the seventh inning or later.