Atlanta is coming to town, and the Mets are looking for a fast start against their NL East rivals.
"They're the division champions," said manager Willie Randolph, whose team opens a three-game set against the Braves on Monday. "Those are the guys we've got to go through to be where we want to be.
"We feel good going into the series. We want to feel good going out."
New York is feeling good after taking two of three from the Brewers to improve to 9-2, its fastest start ever. The Mets also set a franchise mark by winning their first four series of the season.
Xavier Nady drove in three runs with a home run and a sacrifice fly and Carlos Delgado hit a three-run homer against the Brewers, who snapped New York's seven-game winning streak with an 8-2 win Saturday.
David Wright, leading the National League in hitting with a .421 average coming into the game, had a single and double and scored twice for New York.
The Brewers left eight runners on base in the first three innings against Brian Bannister (2-0), who was making his third major league start. He threw 112 pitches over five innings, but allowed just one run and left the game leading 4-1.
"My approach is I don't give in," Bannister said. "I'll walk guys before I'll give them a pitch they can drive. I'll keep making my pitches all day."
He left the Brewers and manager Ned Yost frustrated.
"We just let too many opportunities get by early," Yost said. "We got his pitch count up and three times we had runners in scoring position and fewer than two out. We just couldn't put the ball in play. That has a way of catching up with you."
The Mets had a 4-3 lead before scoring five runs in the eighth. Delgado hit a three-run drive and Victor Diaz doubled home two more runs.
Nady's third home run of the season gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in the second. He connected against Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets (0-1) following a leadoff single by Wright. Sheets was activated from the disabled list before the game and had not pitched since last Aug. 26 because of a right shoulder strain.
He worked five innings and was satisfied with his first start.
"I felt good, really good," he said. "I'm not happy we lost but for myself, I'm happy to be back out there. I'll get better, I think."
Bannister escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the first when he got Corey Koskie to bounce out. Then Milwaukee loaded the bases with none out in the second on a leadoff double by Bill Hall and walks to Prince Fielder and Damian Miller. But Bannister struck out Sheets and Gabe Gross and got J.J. Hardy on a fly ball to end the inning.
In the third, singles by Jenkins and Koskie and a walk to Hall loaded the bases again. Bannister then struck out Fielder and got Miller on a fly ball.
The Mets got the run right back in the bottom of the fourth when Wright opened with a double, moved to third on an infield out and scored on Nady's fly ball.
Jose Reyes singled with two out in the fifth, stole second and came home on Paul Lo Duca's second hit of the game, making it 4-1. Lo Duca stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded when Sheets finished his day by striking out Delgado.
With Bannister out of the game for a pinch-hitter, Darren Oliver relieved for the Mets in the sixth and was touched for a pinch single by Corey Hart. Oliver had Hart picked off first but Delgado threw the ball into left field for an error. Jenkins, who had three hits, followed with a two-run homer, cutting the Mets' lead to 4-3.
"I felt good," Jenkins said. "We had plenty of opportunities. We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had."
- Endy Chavez started in CF for the Mets replacing Carlos Beltran (tight right hamstring). Beltran hopes to return Monday against Atlanta.
- Bannister threw 81 pitches in the first three innings work.
- Sheets threw five innings, allowing four runs and six hits and throwing 96 pitches.