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Medlen fans 12 in complete-game win vs. Rox

The Mets were the last team to score an earned run against Kris Medlen. That was back on Aug. 19, when Andres Torres reached the Braves right-hander for an RBI single in the second inning of an Atlanta win at Citi Field.

Since that run, 37 1/3 innings have passed without Medlen's ERA rising further. That mark now stands at 1.56, including 0.54 in his seven starts.

The Mets will get the chance to end Medlen's streak where it began when they host the Braves on Saturday afternoon for the second game of a three-game series. Jeremy Hefner gets the start for New York, which lost Friday's opener, 3-0, but has won eight of its last 12.

The Braves have won five of six and lead the National League Wild Card race. Medlen (7-1), the National League Pitcher of the Month for August, has played a significant role since joining the rotation.

The right-hander owns a 50-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a starter this season, while holding batters to a .206 average. On Monday against the Rockies, he struck out a career-high 12 and walked none while tossing his second complete game of the season. Colorado managed five hits and an unearned run.

The Braves now have won Medlen's past 18 starts going back to May 2010, before he underwent Tommy John surgery. That is the longest such streak since the Yankees won 20 straight Roger Clemens outings in 2001.

"I know how I am as a pitcher and I know how competitive I am," Medlen said after his last start. "When I put it all together, I think I can get results I want. Did I know it would be this kind of success? Not quite. But did I think I could do it? Yes. Did I expect it? Not really."

Hefner (2-5, 4.52 ERA) has started nine of his 21 games this season, posting a 14-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his latest rotation stint, comprising three outings. He held the Marlins to two runs on six hits in six innings last Saturday, leading manager Terry Collins to agree that the rookie right-hander has been exceeding expectations.

"He really is," Collins said. "I thought tonight was, location-wise, the best I've seen him pitch, and he's pitched very well."

Braves: Uggla at second base again
• Manager Fredi Gonzalez put Dan Uggla on the bench for three consecutive games from Sunday to Tuesday, but on Friday, Uggla was at second base for a third straight day.

He rewarded that decision by going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. It was Uggla's first multihit game since Aug. 8 and his first game with multiple extra-base hits since June 5. He has only three of those all season.

Uggla entered Friday batting .151 with a .574 OPS over his previous 77 games.

• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons went 1-for-4 with a home run on a rehab assignment at high Class A Lynchburg on Friday night, his second game with the club. The rookie played 33 games for the Braves this season before being sidelined by a broken right pinkie on July 8.

Mets: At long last, some relief
The Mets entered Friday with a 4.73 bullpen ERA, good for 28th in the Majors, ahead of only the Astros and Cubs. That doesn't sound good, but it represents a marked improvement over where the situation was a few weeks ago.

After tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings on Wednesday, Mets relievers had allowed five earned runs over their last 34 2/3 innings, giving them a 1.30 ERA in a 12-game span.

"We've had to overexpose them a lot, where they've pitched a lot -- two, three, four and five games sometimes -- and they've run into trouble," Collins said before Friday's game. "But what's happened the last couple weeks is that they come in and they've got to get an out, and they get an out. They've got to get a couple of guys out, they get a couple of guys out."

Worth noting
• Hefner's only appearance against the Braves came in relief on Aug. 11, when he gave up one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings.

• Medlen has faced the Mets five times out of the bullpen this season, in addition to his one start. Overall, he has held New York to two runs in 15 2/3 innings.

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