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Medlen fans eight in seven innings of work

The Braves have won 22 straight games started by Kris Medlen, and they can set an MLB record Sunday afternoon at Turner Field. Medlen will take the mound for the series finale against the Mets, who took the opener before falling, 2-0, on Saturday. New York will counter with right-hander Jenrry Mejia, who picked up his first Major League win in his last start.

Medlen is 9-1 (the one loss came in relief) with a 1.64 ERA in his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010, and the Braves have benefited from bringing him along slowly this season. The 26-year-old right-hander began the year in the bullpen to keep him under a preconceived 165-innings limit, and Atlanta has been able to ride him to within four games of the National League East-leading Nationals entering Sunday. Winning the division remains a long shot, but the Braves have already clinched their first playoff berth since 2010.

A win on Sunday would give the Braves 23 in a row behind Medlen, breaking a record currently held by the Yankees and Whitey Ford and the Giants and Carl Hubbell.

"It's already surreal," Medlen said. "But obviously, I don't plan on it ending [on Sunday], and hopefully keep it going."

The Mets, meanwhile, have won seven of their last nine, but that hasn't done anything to alter their fourth-place standing in the NL East. New York will finish with its fifth straight sub-.500 year and miss the postseason for the sixth straight time.

Braves: Bourn remains sidelined
Michael Bourn missed his sixth straight game on Saturday with a sprained left thumb he sustained on Sept. 22. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Bourn is considered day to day, though he did admit the team is playing it safe with its center fielder. Gonzalez added that there is a "good chance" Bourn will play on Sunday.

"The big thing is we don't want a setback," Gonzalez said. "That's the biggest scare. We're running out of games and we don't want to get a setback."

Mets: Parnell named closer for final games
With Frank Francisco seemingly shut down for the season, manager Terry Collins named Bobby Parnell the Mets' closer for their remaining games.

Parnell picked up the final two outs of R.A. Dickey's 20th win on Thursday and saved the Mets' win over the Braves on Friday. Back in July, Parnell struggled to replace an injured Francisco, notching a 3.60 ERA over 10 innings.

"The ninth inning's a different inning, no question about it," Collins said. "Certainly, his stuff is closer kind of stuff. He's pitched great, he really has."

Worth noting
The Mets have set their rotation for the season-ending series with the Marlins. Jeurys Familia will start Monday, followed by Dickey on Tuesday and Jeremy Hefner on Wednesday. Comments