Maine Throws For NY

The New York Mets have lost five of their last six and been outscored 36-14 in those five losses, but manager Willie Randolph doesn't believe his team is in a slump.

Randolph's team looks to avoid a third straight loss Saturday when they continue a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New York -108 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on New York –108 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

The Mets (11-11) lost 6-3 on Friday to the Braves. They led 3-1 in the third inning after scoring three runs on bases-loaded walks, but Kelly Johnson drove in four of Atlanta's five unanswered runs, and the Mets failed to have another hit the rest of the game.

Atlanta (12-11) has won seven of nine, and improved to 4-7 on the road.

New York's slide, meanwhile, comes after a five-game winning streak.

"I don't think it's a slump at all. Sometime you sputter as a group," Randolph said. "We've got to kind of pick each other up and find a way to put the total game together so we can get rolling a little bit. We will. We will get going."

Making things more difficult for the Mets was catcher Brian Schneider still hospitalized with an infected left thumb. He is not expected to play in this series.

New York also held the struggling Carlos Delgado out of the starting lineup. He came in during the ninth to pinch hit, but struck out.

Delgado is hitting just .195 and stuck in a 3-for-30 slide.

"It's one of those early season challenges for us. We're facing some adversity," said third baseman David Wright, hitless in his last 18 at-bats. "This is where the better teams prevail and the better teams find a way to win. We need to challenge ourselves and find a way to win tomorrow."

Delgado will likely be back in the lineup on Saturday, when he looks to continue his success against Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.93 ERA), who will take the mound for the Braves.

Delgado, who was dropped from fifth to sixth in the batting order this week, is hitting .321 (17-for-53) against Hudson with six home runs - his third-most against any major league pitcher.

Hudson allowed two runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings against Washington on Monday, bouncing back from his previous start when he lasted just three innings. Hudson struggled with his velocity in that losing effort, but he had no problems on Monday.

Hudson is 8-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets. He pitched six solid innings against them on April 5, allowing three runs and six hits in an 11-5 win.

He faced New York's John Maine (1-2, 3.57) in that start in Atlanta, and the two will face each other again at Shea Stadium.

Maine allowed four runs and eight hits in four innings in the loss to the Braves, dropping his record to 1-2 in four career starts with a 4.84 ERA against them.

He is coming off a loss in his last start despite allowing just two runs and five hits in six innings in a 7-1 defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

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