|Mets' Syndergaard tries to subdue Braves|
ATLANTA -- Noah Syndergaard struck out eight straight Milwaukee batters and 11 overall in 5 1/3 innings Sunday, but the New York Mets right-hander said he didn't feel like he was all the way back.
"I'm barely scratching the surface," he said afterward.
Syndergaard, who was limited to seven starts by a lat tear last year, will try to make it to the seventh inning for the first time this season and get his first victory over Atlanta as he faces the Braves at SunTrust Park on Friday night.
Syndergaard takes a 2-0 record and 2.95 ERA into the matchup with Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb and is hoping to build off his no-decision against the Brewers, when he allowed only an unearned run.
"I feel like this is finally a step in the right direction," he said afterward. "I finally got a glimpse of what I'm capable of. I felt like my first three starts were not up to par."
Syndergaard is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four career games against the Braves, but pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision at New York last April.
Freddie Freeman is 5-for-9 with three extra-base hits against Syndergaard and the first baseman will be in the Braves' lineup after getting a scare Wednesday in the series finale against Philadelphia.
Freeman, who missed 47 games last year after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Toronto's Aaron Loup, was plunked by Hoby Milner in the same area.
"It missed (the bone) I broke last year by about half an inch," Freeman said.
Freeman suffered just a bruise this time and he was 2-for-3 and drove in his 13th run of the season with a sacrifice fly as the Braves defeated the Mets 12-4 on Thursday in the opener of the four-game series.
The victory moved the Braves (11-7) to within two games of the Mets (13-5), who had been 6-0 on the road, for first place in the National League East.
Preston Tucker drove in a career-high five runs with a pair of doubles and fill-in starter Matt Wisler limited the Mets two hits, one a homer by Todd Frazier, over seven innings.
The Braves lead the National League with 104 runs scored and are four games over .500 for the first time since April 2015.
Newcomb made his major league debut against the Mets in June and will be facing them for the fourth time after going 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA versus New York in 2017.
The former first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Angels is 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts this season, the last two impressive outings in frigid conditions in Colorado and against the Cubs in Chicago.
Newcomb, who was 4-9 with a 4.32 ERA as a rookie, has shown an effective changeup his last two starts.
"I've been throwing it more, more than my curve, and it has been a good pitch," Newcomb said. "I've gotten out some good hitters out with it."
Asdrubal Cabrera is the Met who has had the most success against Newcomb, going 5-for-9 with a double.