Ender Inciarte struggled through the season's first six weeks and then missed two months with a back injury, but the Atlanta Braves center fielder continues providing a spark entering Thursday's home series finale against the New York Mets. Inciarte, whose role has increased during Nick Markakis' absence, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in Wednesday's 6-4 victory to raise his average to .328 with 15 runs scored in 18 games since Markakis fractured his wrist.
The Braves won for the sixth time in eight games to keep their National League East lead at six games over Washington - after grinding out five runs on six hits against the Mets bullpen in the bottom of the seventh after New York had taken a 2-1 lead - sparked by two run-scoring hits from Inciarte and a RBI single from Ronald Acuna Jr. It was a fitting end of the day for New York, which lost for the third time in a row after winning 15 of 16 games hours after putting All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. Shortstop Amed Rosario went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored Wednesday and is hitting .342 since the All-Star break. Catcher Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to nine games and is batting .400 with three homers and 10 RBIs in that span, but New York fell to Atlanta for the eighth time in the past 10 meetings to slide three games behind Chicago for the final NL wild card spot.
TV: 7:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, SNY (New York), FS Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.20 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (7-7, 3.35)
Stroman was one of the biggest names moved at the trade deadline, but has produced mixed results in picking up no-decisions in his first two starts with New York. The 28-year-old gave up three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in his Mets debut Aug. 3 at Pittsburgh, then surrendered four runs on nine hits with nine strikeouts in six innings in his first home start Friday at Washington. Stroman, who gave up only seven runs in 30 innings in his final five turns for Toronto, is 2-0 in two career starts against Atlanta, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings in 2017 and allowing one run in seven innings last season.
Teheran gave up 13 runs across back-to-back starts in June but otherwise has been outstanding since May 5, allowing two earned runs or fewer 15 times in 18 outings while pitching to a 2.56 ERA. The 28-year-old began August by surrendering three runs on five hits in five innings against Cincinnati on Aug. 4, then held Miami to one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts across seven innings to get the win Friday. Teheran owns a 7.66 ERA in five career starts against Toronto, allowing one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision last season.
1. Mets RF Michael Conforto struck out three times Wednesday, and brings a 0-for-14 skid with seven strikeouts into the series finale.
2. Braves RHP Shane Greene, who had allowed seven runs on 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings since being acquired from Detroit, pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout.
3. New York 2B Ruben Tejada, promoted from Triple-A Syracuse for McNeil and playing in the majors for the first time in two years, went 0-for-4.