ATLANTA -- When a team has tallied double-digit run totals twice within a span of nine games, it is not necessarily easy to say the offense is slumbering. But after scoring just one run in each of the final three games against the Mets this weekend, it's fair to say the Braves extended the offensive frustration they have frequently dealt with for more than two weeks.
Seth Lugo added to the recent woes of the Braves' offense, as he escaped his season debut relatively unharmed in a 2-1 Braves loss on Sunday afternoon at SunTrust Park. Lugo allowed just one run over seven innings in his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
This was essentially the same storyline as yielded by the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, when the Mets' Steven Matz also allowed one run over seven innings. Matz was making his first appearance since being shut down at the end of Spring Training with left elbow inflammation.
"They're getting healthy, and that's a pretty good rotation now," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "That kid today [Lugo] did a really good job. They're a good ball club."
After claiming a 13-8 win over the Reds on June 4, the Braves entered this eight-game homestand looking to take advantage of two struggling division opponents. But they split a four-game series against the last-place Phillies and finished the series against the Mets with a 3-5 record during this stint at SunTrust Park.
The Braves scored just one run in four of their past seven games. While it might be easy to chalk it up as just a rough week, they have now tallied two runs or fewer in eight of their past 17 games and three runs or fewer in 12 of those 17 games.
"[The Mets] threw the ball pretty well," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said, "I know me personally, I missed some mistakes. I don't think they were one-run perfect."
There's no doubt leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte stands as an influential piece within the Braves' lineup. The Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder notched his second five-hit game of the season during last weekend's rout of the Reds. But Inciarte has battled left foot discomfort over the past few days and has recorded just three hits in 16 at-bats over his past five games.
Matt Adams has shown he has the potential to serve as an adequate replacement while Freddie Freeman remains sidelined until late July with a fractured wrist. But after hitting three home runs in Cincinnati, he hit .207 (6-for-29) with just one extra-base hit during this homestand.
"I think [the Mets] threw the ball really well," shortstop Dansby Swanson said. "You've got to give credit where credit is due."