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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

Atlanta Braves (0-2) at New York Mets (2-0), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Mike Minor (0-0, 0.00) New York - Jonathon Niese (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - One day after officially signing his five-year, $25.5 million contract, Jonathon Niese heads to the mound this afternoon, trying to complete a season-opening sweep for the New York Mets.

Niese, coming off a season in which he went 11-11 with a 4.40 earned run average, would have been arbitration-eligible following the 2012 campaign.

The 25-year-old lefty has a 22-23 record with a 4.39 ERA over 65 games, all but one of which have been starts, in his four-year major league career, all with the Mets.

Over his career, Niese is 3-2 with a 3.55 ERA in eight starts vs. Atlanta.

The Mets, who will try to go 3-0 for the first time since winning their first four games in 2007, face Mike Minor this afternoon. The lefty was 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 15 starts last season for the Braves. Minor, who spent part of the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, is 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts against the Mets.

Yesterday, Lucas Duda recorded his first career multi- home run game and the Mets earned a 4-2 win. David Wright also homered as part of a three-hit performance for the Mets.

A two-run blast by Martin Prado was among the five hits given up by New York starter R.A. Dickey over his six innings of work.

"I'm hoping this is going to be the norm for us," Dickey said.

Jair Jurrjens allowed three runs on seven hits and walked three in 4 1/3 innings for Atlanta, which was shut out by the Mets in Thursday's season- opener.

"We just can't string anything together [offensively]," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

These teams split 18 games last year.

04/08 10:28:14 ET