Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ben Sheets takes the mound Sunday as they try to sweep the New York Mets. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE)
(Sports Network) - 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
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
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.
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