Lately, pitching had not been a problem for the Mets. Though the team's hitting woes at Citi Field have persisted, the Mets could at least bank on solid work from their starters.

But little went right for the Mets in Saturday's 11-3 loss to the Braves.

A passing rainstorm halted play for more than an hour and the Mets' punchless lineup failed to score more than three runs in its ninth consecutive home game. But those were minor quibbles when stacked against starter Jeremy Hefner's brutal outing.

The righthander allowed five runs and eight hits in just 21/3 innings, the shortest of his 10 career major-league starts.

Braves catcher Brian McCann -- who coming in hadn't collected a hit in 17 straight at-bats and hadn't recorded an extra-base hit in 85 consecutive at-bats -- finished 4-for-5 with four RBIs.

After ending his hitless streak with a bunt single in the second, McCann's two-run double off Hefner the third snapped his extra-base hit drought.

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In the fifth, off Mets reliever Robert Carson, McCann hit a two-run homer. It was his first since July 31.

Righthander Chris Young (4-7, 4.48 ERA) starts Sunday as the Mets attempt to avoid a sweep by the Braves, who will send righthander Tommy Hanson (12-8,4.40 ERA) to the hill.