By Mark Bowman and Connor Smolensky
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- David Wright provided two doubles and Steven Matz produced his second straight strong start as the Mets extended their recent success with an 8-2 win over the Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field.
Matz might not have been as dominant as he was in a scoreless outing against the Indians last weekend, but he managed to allow just two runs despite surrendering nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. The Mets tallied a two-run first inning against Jhoulys Chacin, and Wright added to that advantage when he delivered a two-out, two-run double in the fourth.
"I saw him moving the ball around the zone too," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Not just mixing it up. He located, he located very well tonight. There are a couple pitches he wanted back. He left a couple balls out. The ball to Freeman. He tried to get it down and away and left it over the plate."
Chacin allowed four runs -- three earned -- over 5 2/3 innings, and the Braves did not take advantage of Freddie Freeman's two-hit performance while suffering their fourth straight loss and falling to 1-9 at home this season. The Mets have won seven of their past nine games.
"We're getting our hits, but we're not scoring runs," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has seen his team total just six runs despite tallying 31 hits over the past three games, with Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey and Matz as the opposing starting pitchers.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mets get out to fast start: New York wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, giving Matz a lead before he took the mound. Curtis Granderson started the game off with a single and scored on a Lucas Duda sacrifice fly. The second run came via a Freeman error at first base.
"It's definitely nice," Matz said. "The offense has been doing a great job, and it's nice to have a cushion out there."
Matz stalls the bats: The left-hander entered Saturday's game with a 7.27 ERA and left with a 5.40 mark. Matz struck out five Braves in his first trip through the order and let up runs in the third and seventh innings, but didn't face much of a threat aside from that. More >
Back to earth: Chacin surrendered hits to two of the first three hitters he faced, one start after allowing hits to the final three batters he faced in Miami. The Braves right-hander had only himself to blame when he issued Granderson a two-out, five-pitch walk just before Wright drilled a two-run double that gave the Mets a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning. Chacin has allowed seven runs in the 6 2/3 innings that have followed the 11-inning scoreless streak to begin the season.
Breaking out? As he has struggled while attempting to bounce back from last year's wrist injury, Freeman has been burdened by reduced bat speed. But his swing looked like the one of old as he produced a 98-mph exit velocity with a third-inning RBI double that he pulled toward the left-field corner. Freeman added a fifth-inning single to notch his second multihit game of the season and raise his batting average to .190.
"I've been coming up out of my swing a lot," Freeman said. "It was nice to stay down, especially with the ball down in the zone on the double." More >
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In the ninth inning, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs, the fourth time New York has done that in the past five games. The Braves have homered just three times this season and the Mets have outhomered them 23-0 dating back to April 14.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:Jacob deGrom will be back on the mound Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET for the first time since being placed on MLB's family-emergency list following breathing complications with his newborn son. In one start this season, deGrom went six innings, allowing five hits and one run, while striking out five in a win over Philadelphia.