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Gsellman guides Mets past Braves in finale

September 17, 2017

ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes tripled and the Mets took advantage of Julio Teheran's shaky control as they constructed a two-run first inning and rode Robert Gsellman's strong start to a 5-1 win over the Braves on Sunday afternoon at SunTrust Park."We just had a good series and I was glad

ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes tripled and the Mets took advantage of Julio Teheran's shaky control as they constructed a two-run first inning and rode Robert Gsellman's strong start to a 5-1 win over the Braves on Sunday afternoon at SunTrust Park.
"We just had a good series and I was glad to see that," Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo said. "I was glad to win the series as those guys are talented over there."
On the way to claiming their first road series win since Aug. 13, the Mets took advantage of the early struggles endured by Teheran, who issued three walks and surrendered Reyes' triple before recording the game's second out. The early advantage proved to be sufficient for Gsellman, as he allowed just one unearned run and three hits over seven innings -- his longest outing since May 29.
• Reyes providing on-field leadership

Gsellman relied on his changeup heavily against the Braves. He picked up the pitch rehabbing in Double-A earlier in the year and it has become his second-best pitch. According to Statcast™, Gsellman threw the changeup 22 times and got three called strikes with it.
"I tried to get the sinker away from lefties as they had a lot in the lineup," Gsellman said. "I also used my changeup and I thought it worked well."
Meanwhile, Teheran surrendered a two-out triple to Norichika Aoki in the second inning and pitched around a leadoff walk in the third on the way to limiting the Mets to just the two runs over six innings. The Braves right-hander found the strike zone with just 14 of the first 28 pitches he threw, but ended up retiring 11 of the final 13 batters faced.

"The first inning was a struggle for me, but after that, I settled down everything," Teheran said. "I calmed myself and kind of got my rhythm. But we were down two runs and it's tough to start the game by being down 2-0."
• Teheran finishing strong for Braves
The Mets wouldn't score again until Phillip Evans doubled in the ninth off Jose Ramirez for his first career RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a pinch-hit, two-run homer that gave the Mets some comfort to complete the victory.

Quick start: Aoki recorded three hits, but his most influential plate appearance occurred in the first inning when he fell behind with a 0-2 count and then drew a leadoff walk. Reyes followed with a triple that eluded Nick Markakis' glove in the right-center-field gap. Two walks later, Amed Rosario grounded into a run-producing fielder's choice that accounted for the game's decisive run.
"We got some breaks as he normally doesn't walk guys," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We took advantage in the first inning with a couple walks. … The fact that he was a little wild early helped us."

Teheran issued just one more walk after the first inning, but the 3.49 walks per nine innings he has issued this year is higher than the career-worst mark (3.29) he produced in 2015.
"I was a little excited, trying to be perfect in the first inning," Teheran said. "They weren't swinging at my pitches and I was a little wild. But after that, I think I made better pitches."
Minor hiccup:Freddie Freeman's first-inning double accounted for the only instance the Braves moved a runner to second base through the first six innings. With one out in the seventh, Gsellman had retired eight straight before Rosario fumbled Johan Camargo's grounder. The Mets shortstop then committed another error as he allowed Dansby Swanson's grounder to slip under his glove. Gsellman allowed a run on Jace Peterson's RBI groundout but induced a weak pop out from pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki to escape the threat.

"It was just a blink and then I got the ball right in front of me. I don't know how I caught that. I think the ball caught me." -- Teheran, on the Juan Lagares liner he caught while falling back on the mound to end the top of the sixth inning

"He is an outstanding athlete and he is bound and determined. He is being challenged by something as he hasn't had the kind of year that he anticipated. Right now, he has to show us he can be one of those guys again. Today he showed us that he could."-- Collins, on Gsellman's performance against the Braves
With his first-inning triple, Reyes moved into second place on the Mets all-time extra-base-hit list. He passed Darryl Strawberry and now has 470 extra-base hits.
Rookie reliever A.J. Minter worked 1 1/3 perfect innings to become the first Braves pitcher since at least 1913 to not issue a walk through his first 10 career appearances.
Mets:Matt Harvey takes the mound against Miami in the series opener at Marlins Park Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Harvey has a 6.18 ERA in nine road starts and will make his second start against Miami this season.
Braves:Luiz Gohara will make his third career start when Atlanta opens a three-game series against Washington on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Gohara displayed his tremendous potential as he limiting the Nationals to two runs -- one earned -- over six innings on Wednesday.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for based in Atlanta who covered the Mets on Sunday.