Masterful Matz, 4 HRs propel Mets past Braves

May 4th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Because the Mets' offense is built around home runs, it tends to come and go in spurts.

But when it goes, it doesn't tend to stray for long. Less than a day after the Mets mustered one hit in a loss to the Braves, they bludgeoned four home runs to back Steven Matz in an 8-0 victory Wednesday at Citi Field, winning their sixth consecutive series. It had been a full decade since the Mets last scored six series wins in a row.

"I think we're a pretty deep lineup and we have the ability to bounce back," Mets first baseman Lucas Duda said. "Today, we did. It was a good feeling."

Duda's pair of homers highlighted the scoring off Braves starter Jhoulys Chacin, who also served up two-run shots to Rene Rivera and Asdrubal Cabrera in 4 2/3 innings.

That provided plenty of cushion once again for Matz, who has enjoyed the most free-flowing run support of any Mets starter. Improving to 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA since a seven-run clunker in his season debut, Matz has received 35 runs of support over his last four starts. The Mets have outscored their opponents 31-1 while Matz has been an active pitcher in those games.

"Pitching wins," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We got a great pitching performance from [Matt Wisler on Tuesday]. Chacin has been great. This might have been his poorest start and we fell right behind the eight ball right away. Offensively, we just couldn't get anything going."


Homers for days: Once again, the long ball was the Mets' preferred method of attack. Rivera's two-run shot in the second inning gave the Mets their first lead, and they never looked back from there. An inning later, Cabrera and Duda hit two-run shots over a four-batter span to put the game mostly out of reach. Duda hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot, in the fifth. More >

Dubious career-high : Everything Chacin has provided through this season's first month has been gravy for the Braves, who were simply taking a chance that the veteran pitcher was healthy when he signed a Minor League deal this winter. But as Chacin surrendered a career-high four home runs, including three two-run shots within a span of seven batters, he at least provided reason to wonder how long he is capable of being a reliable option in the rotation. If he is removed at some point within the next month, the Braves could promote Tyrell Jenkins or Lucas Sims to fill the spot.

"I gave up three homers with three cutters," said Chacin, who hadn't previously surrendered a home run this season. "I was leaving pitches in the middle and not too many things were working for me today. I'm just going to forget about today's game and just work for my next start."

Matz magic: All but unhittable in his previous three starts, Matz still managed to save some of his best work for the Braves. The left-hander retired eight straight batters to open the game, then another 11 in a row after Chacin singled with two outs in the third. Working for the most part with a multi-run lead, he needed 106 pitches to complete 7 2/3 innings. More >

"Every time I pitch is all about rhythm," Matz said. "Today, I was able to get into a good rhythm. Me and Rene worked well together. He called a great game and I just got into a groove."


"It's been a tough 27 games obviously, but we can make the next 130-something games fun if we go out there and keep playing the game the right way."

-- First baseman Freddie Freeman, after the Braves fell to 7-20, a mark that improved as Atlanta won three of its final six games on the road tripMore >


The Braves surrendered more home runs (seven) during this three-game series than they have hit (six) this season.

Duda now ranks 11th in Mets history with 108 career homers. He could climb as high as seventh in the record books this season, needing 17 more home runs to reach sole possession of that mark.


Braves:Aaron Blair will oppose Zack Greinke when Atlanta opens a three-game series against the D-backs on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Blair was a top prospect in the D-backs' organization before the Braves acquired him in the blockbuster deal that sent Shelby Miller to Arizona in December.

Mets:Jacob deGrom will start the first game of the Mets' 11-day, three-city West Coast trip when he takes on the Padres in a 10:10 p.m. ET game Thursday at Petco Park. He'll start opposite Padres rookie right-hander Colin Rea.

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