The New York Mets have their best veteran pitchers lined up for a pivotal road series against the Atlanta Braves this week.
The Mets just hope the visit goes better than the last time they were in Atlanta.
Suddenly reeling, New York will look to get back on track Tuesday night against Atlantain the opener of a three-game series between the longtime National League East rivals.
Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 5.74 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.92) in a battle of right-handers.
Both teams were off Monday.
The Mets fell to .500 after Brandon Belt hit the tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh inning on Sunday to lift the visiting Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-4 win and a sweep of a three-game series.
The Braves won the deciding game of a three-game set against the host Arizona Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion on Sunday when Eddie Rosario hit a go-ahead grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning to give Atlanta an 8-5 win.
The Mets' loss capped an inconsistent and frustrating six-game homestand after they finished off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday to move three games over .500 for the first time in a month.
But New York, which scored only 10 runs in the sweep of the Phillies, was outscored 11-5 by the Blue Jays, who trailed for just three innings in the three games.
"I knew we weren't swinging the bats particularly well, even though we scored more runs than (the Phillies) did in three games," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "All three of these (Blue Jays) games could have turned very quickly in a couple situations, but they didn't."
The loss dropped the Mets 5 1/2 games behind the Braves as they head to Georgia for the first time since Sept. 30-Oct. 2 last season, when Atlanta swept a series by beating Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt.
The three victories gave the Braves a 10-9 win in the season series and the division title tiebreaker when both teams finished 101-61.
The Braves headed home Sunday with momentum after Rosario's grand slam provided an exclamation point to an up-and-down game and salvaged a split of a six-game West Coast road trip that began with Atlanta dropping two straight to baseball's worst team, the Oakland Athletics.
On Sunday, the Braves squandered an early 1-0 lead before starter Michael Soroka exited down 5-3 in the fourth. A half-inning earlier, designated hitter Marcell Ozuna was slow out of the box on what appeared to be a homer to left and had to stop at first base when the ball hit just below the home run line for a 415-foot single. Ozuna was replaced by pinch-hitter Sean Murphy in the sixth.
"I like how we hung around in that game," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It shows the kind of mettle that we have and what these guys are made of."
Carrasco -- who is scheduled to be followed in the rotation by former Cy Young Award winners Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander -- earned the win Wednesday, when he gave up one run over six innings as the Mets beat the Phillies 4-1.
Elder didn't factor into the decision last Tuesday, when he surrendered one run over 7 1/3 innings in the Braves' 2-1 loss to the Athletics.
Carrasco is 2-2 with a 4.30 ERA in five career games (four starts) against the Braves. Elder made his lone appearance against the Mets last Aug. 6, when he gave up three runs over 2 1/3 innings in a relief appearance in the Braves' 8-5 loss.
--Field Level Media