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The Atlanta Braves look to get back to their winning ways when they open up a three-game series at the New York Mets on Tuesday. After winning seven of eight games to jump squarely into the muddled wild-card picture in the National League, the Braves dropped a pair at Cincinnati over the weekend while falling to 4-3 on their current 10-game road trip. Atlanta managed six runs in their final 34 innings against the Reds, leaving 10 men on base in a 5-3 loss on Sunday.
The Braves sit one-half game behind San Francisco for the second wild-card spot in the NL and seven games ahead of the Mets, who salvaged the finale of a three-game set at the Los Angeles Dodgers with an 11-3 triumph on Sunday. Lucas Duda stayed hot with a pair of home runs, but New York saw third baseman David Wright (neck) and second baseman Daniel Murphy (calf) removed from the game early. Wright, who said he hopes that the injury will not rob him of any playing time, is hitting .215 with no homers in 35 games since the All-Star break.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves LH Alex Wood (9-9, 3.05 ERA) vs. Mets RH Dillon Gee (4-6, 3.84)
Wood stayed on the right path with seven strong innings in a no-decision at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, allowing two runs and four hits. He is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA over his last five starts and owns a 2.83 mark in 18 starts on the season. Wood helped the Braves defeat the Mets on June 30, when he let up three runs and struck out seven in six frames.
New York has lost six of Gee's last seven starts, during which he has posted a 5.71 ERA. The rough patch began after a win over Atlanta in which he surrendered a run in seven frames. That outing helped Gee drop his ERA to 2.80 in 13 career starts against the Braves.
1. Braves LF Justin Upton went 0-for-9 with three strikeouts in the last two games of the Cincinnati series after hitting .413 during a 13-game hitting streak.
2. Duda leads the majors with 12 home runs since the All-Star break.
3. Atlanta RF Jason Heyward is 8-for-24 with a homer and six walks against Gee.
PREDICTION: Braves 4, Mets 3