Colon a 9-game winner after Mets top Braves
NEW YORK -- At least for now, Atlanta's long-standing dominance over the Mets appears to have come to an end. John Mayberry Jr. and Wilmer Flores each homered on Friday, backing Bartolo Colon in the Mets' 5-3 win over the Braves at Citi Field. It was the Mets' fifth consecutive win over the Braves, marking their longest single-season streak against their division rivals since 1989.
The win improved the Mets to 22-11 against National League East opponents, including a 16-5 mark at home. They are 11-18 vs. everyone else.
"We've just played well against them so far," said Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who contributed an RBI double. "I've always said the only way to win the division is to win in the division."
Flores' second-inning homer off Braves starter Alex Wood gave the Mets an early lead they would never relinquish. Mayberry added some cushion with a two-run shot off Wood, who gave up five runs -- four earned -- over 6 1/3 innings.
The run support was just enough for Colon, who surrendered only two of his own but needed 100 pitches to complete six innings. The 42-year-old struck out three, walked two and allowed six hits -- and no, he did not record any hits of his own.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Going deep: With Lucas Duda receiving a routine day of rest, Flores became the first Mets shortstop to hit cleanup since John Valentin in 2002. He took to the role immediately, hitting his 10th home run to break a team-leading tie with Duda. The solo shot also tied him with St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta for the big league lead among shortstops.
"I'm just going out there and trying to hit the ball hard," Flores said. "For me, it doesn't matter where I'm hitting." More >
Wood's unique mistakes: Wood had never allowed more than one home run in any of his previous 46 career starts, and he entered Friday with the second-most pickoffs since the start of 2014. The young southpaw got in trouble with the fastballs that Flores and Mayberry deposited over the outfield fence, but it was his errant pickoff throw to second base that put Mayberry in position to score on Eric Campbell's decisive sixth-inning groundout. More >
Markakis' missed opportunities: Nick Markakis grounded into two double plays, including a game-ender, while going hitless in three at-bats with the bases loaded. His first double-play groundout came after reliever Alex Torres issued consecutive walks to load the bases in the seventh. Colon escaped a two-run, 30-pitch fifth by getting Markakis to ground out with the bases loaded.
"I was just not sticking to my plan," Markakis said. "I have a plan going up there. When you change your thought process in the middle, it can really hurt you. It got me tonight." More >
"A couple years ago, those balls don't go out. They just barely make it to the party deck. But guess what? That party deck is there for both teams." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, referring to Citi Field's former -- larger -- dimensions
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
In beating the Braves, Colon improved to 9-4 in 13 starts this season. He has recorded decisions in 25 consecutive starts dating back to last year, matching Dwight Gooden in 1994 for the longest streak in franchise history. Through an interpreter, Colon called his record "an honor."
Braves: Shelby Miller will take the mound when Atlanta and New York resume their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 ET. Miller has allowed one run or fewer in five of his past seven starts.
Mets: Jacob deGrom (7-4, 2.42 ERA) will look to continue piling up strikeouts when the Mets continue their series with the Braves in Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET game at Citi Field. Undefeated in his last five starts, deGrom has whiffed 44 batters over that 36 1/3-inning span.
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