Jones, who is three home runs shy of tying Cal Ripken (431) for 38th place on the all-time list, has hit four home runs and driven in 10 runs on his birthday. Only three people -- Al Simmons, Alex Rodriguez and Derrek Lee -- have hit more home runs (five) on their milestone day. And if that's not enough, Jones has 42 home runs and 133 RBIs in 234 games against the Mets.
With all that in mind, it's no surprise that Jones still views the Mets as one of Atlanta's chief rivals.
"It might feel different to some of the younger guys," said Jones. "But with the history that I've had with the Mets and the Braves have had with the Mets in the late '90s [and] early 2000s, they're as close to a rivalry as anything that I know. It's always tight games. It's always pretty evenly matched teams. It's just a matter of who executes better on any given night."
And in recent memory, that has often been Atlanta. The Mets are just 28-29 at home against the Braves since 2004, and they have won this season series just once since 1998. Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens has also thrived against New York, posting a 4-0 record and a 1.61 ERA in 2009 and a 6-1 record with a 2.44 mark for his career.
New York, meanwhile, will need a long start from Jon Niese. Veteran John Maine left Friday night's game early with pain in his non-pitching elbow, forcing the Mets to get 5 1/3 innings out of the relief staff. The Mets have seen their starters thrive over the last week, and they've allowed just three runs in the first four innings over their past nine games.
Braves: Warriors needed for road trip
The Braves are in the middle of a stretch that will see them play 19 games in 20 days, 16 of them on the road. If they're going to thrive all the way through that part of the schedule, they'll need continued production from some of their supporting players. Martin Prado went into Friday night's game leading the Majors in hits (25) and added another single in the loss.
Atlanta will also count on continued production from rookie sensation Jason Heyward, who has burst out of the gates in the season's first few weeks. Heyward, just 20 years old, struck out three times on Friday night but leads all first-year players in home runs (four), RBIs (16) and hits (10). He has already established himself as the team's No. 5 hitter.
Mets: Wright on target
Third baseman David Wright finds himself with several noteworthy trends in motion. He tied Howard Johnson for eighth on the team's all-time hit list on Friday, and he's three away from reaching 1,000. Wright, who leads the Major Leagues in walks, will also become the Mets' all-time doubles king (226) with his next two-bagger, wresting the title from Ed Kranepool.
And that's not all: Wright, who has 23 career home runs against Atlanta, also has one other statistical trend to watch. The two-time All-Star has struck out in 10 consecutive games, setting the longest streak of that type in his career.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes doubled and tripled on Friday night; his 38 steals versus Atlanta are tied for his high against any team. ... Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano tied former starter Jerry Koosman for the third-most appearances (376) by a pitcher in Mets' franchise history on Friday night. Only Tom Seaver and John Franco lie ahead of him. ... New York's starters have a 2.02 ERA since April 14, and they've struck out 50 batters in 58 innings. ... Atlanta made four errors in the loss. ... Reyes had made 591 consecutive starts in the leadoff slot before New York moved him to the No. 3 hole on Friday.
Sat, 4/24 1:10 PM ET
Mets' left-right combo too much for Braves
The Mets continued to roll, getting a strong start from Jon Niese and key RBIs from Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur to set up a sweep of the Braves, who saw Chipper Jones exit the game with a sore right hip.
|Escobar, Y, SS||3||0||0||0||2||1||0||.194|
|Jones, C, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.283|
|Cabrera, Me, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||6||.143|
|Ross, D, C||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.273|
|Reyes, Js, SS||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||.237|
|Wright, D, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.230|
|Davis, I, 1B||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||.350|
|Blanco, H, C||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||.143|
|Rodriguez, Fr, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Glaus (1, Niese), Prado (7, Niese), Cabrera, Me (2, Niese).
TB: Prado 2; Glaus 2; Diaz; Cabrera, Me 2; Heyward; Ross, D.
RBI: Ross, D (3).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cabrera, Me 3; Infante 3; McCann.
SAC: Jurrjens 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-9.
Team LOB: 11.
CS: Prado (2, 2nd base by Acosta/Blanco, H).
E: Ross, D (1, throw).
DP: (Infante-Escobar, Y-Glaus).
2B: Bay (3, Jurrjens), Francoeur (5, Jurrjens).
TB: Bay 4; Francoeur 2; Blanco, H.
RBI: Bay (5), Francoeur (10), Blanco, H (2).
2-out RBI: Bay.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Francoeur; Niese; Wright, D.
SF: Blanco, H.
GIDP: Wright, D.
Team RISP: 1-for-5.
Team LOB: 5.
SB: Reyes, Js (3, 2nd base off Jurrjens/Ross, D), Blanco, H (1, 2nd base off Jurrjens/Ross, D).
E: Wright, D (4, fielding).
Outfield assists: Francoeur (Prado at 3rd base).
DP: 2 (Francoeur-Cora-Wright, D-Reyes, Js, Blanco, H-Cora).
Groundouts-flyouts: Jurrjens 9-7, O'Flaherty 1-0, Medlen 1-0, Niese 7-1, Acosta 1-0, Nieve 0-0, Feliciano 1-0, Rodriguez, Fr 1-0.
Batters faced: Jurrjens 28, O'Flaherty 1, Medlen 3, Niese 26, Acosta 5, Nieve 2, Feliciano 3, Rodriguez, Fr 3.
Inherited runners-scored: O'Flaherty 1-0, Acosta 2-0, Feliciano 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Bruce Dreckman. 1B: Mike Estabrook. 2B: Paul Emmel. 3B: Bill Hohn.
Weather: 64 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, R to L.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media