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ATL@NYM: Santana debuts with two strong frames

Ervin Santana joined the Braves during their darkest hour of 2014.

Atlanta signed Santana to a one-year deal worth $14 million on March 12 in the aftermath of the news that starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both needed to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

On Wednesday night at 7:10 ET, nearly one month later, Santana will make his first regular-season start as a Brave against fellow right-hander Zack Wheeler and the Mets at Turner Field.

"If you don't feel butterflies, then you don't like the game anymore," Santana said. "I know there are a lot of things going on right now. I'm not going to think about it. I'm just going to go out there and do my job."

Santana, 31, got rid of some of his jitters with a rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Back-to-back fielding errors by Joey Terdoslavich and Tommy La Stella hurt Santana in a three-run sixth, but the right-hander was ultimately happy with how his rehab start turned out.

"I felt very strong," Santana said. "Every pitch was like I wanted it to be. My pitches were down, and my offspeed was very good."

Wheeler, meanwhile, is a native of Smyrna, Ga., who made his Major League debut against the Braves at Turner Field last June 18. The 23-year-old righty gave up four hits, walked five and fanned seven in six scoreless innings that day.

Braves: Floyd, Minor pitch for Triple-A
• Rehabbing starters Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor pitched for Gwinnet against the Orioles' Norfolk affiliate on Tuesday night.

Floyd made the start and gave up three hits and one run in four innings. He struck out two batters and threw 60 pitches, 37 of which were strikes. Minor threw 2 1/3 innings in relief of Floyd, giving up two runs on one hit and three walks. He struck out four batters and threw 65 pitches, 37 of which were strikes.

Minor earned the victory.

• With a third-inning single on Tuesday night, B.J. Upton has hit safely in three of his past five games after beginning the season 0-for-11.

• On Tuesday, Pedro Beato made his first appearance since the Braves claimed him off waivers from the Reds on April 3. He gave up one hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Mets: Lagares hopes to continue early success
• Juan Lagares' start to the season has been anything but regular. Through six games, he is batting .350 (7-for-20) with a .417 on-base percentage.

"Offensively, I've been very impressed," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's worked very, very hard at what we want him to do -- that's control the strike zone, and he's tried to do a good job with that."

Lagares's early-season success at Citi Field is far superior to the average of .202 (38-for-188) he posted at home last season. Meanwhile, he batted .279 (57-for-204) on the road in 2013.

With a year in the Majors already under Lagares' belt, New York believes the outfielder is bound to improve at the plate both at home and on the road.

"We've seen it in his Minor League career -- after a year at every level, he's gotten it," Collins said. "He understands what it takes to be successful, and we've seen it here."

The key to Lagares' improvement this season, Collins said, will be whether he can be more patient at the plate.

"I think he's done a better job at handling pitches that he can hit, and not just going up there as a free swinger," Collins said. "He's tried to get some balls that he can handle, and he's done a nice job."

• Daniel Murphy extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the top of the top of the seventh on Tuesday.

• The Mets won their second challenge under expanded replay review rules when umpires overturned what was originally a Lagares groundout in the top of the eighth. After a three-minute review, Lagares was ruled safe at first.

Worth noting
• Freddie Freeman has hit .667 (4-for-6) with a solo home run in his career against Wheeler. Dan Uggla is batting .400 (2-for-5) with a homer, two RBIs and two strikeouts against the righty.

• Santana's lone appearance against the Mets was as a member of the Royals on Aug. 4, 2013, at Citi Field. He earned the victory, giving up one run on five hits in six innings. He walked three batters and struck out five in the 114-pitch effort. Comments