Matz, Duda lead Mets to 8-0 rout of Braves
NEW YORK (AP) Steven Matz allowed two hits over 7 2/3 innings in his latest stellar start, Lucas Duda hit two of the Mets' four home runs, and New York won six straight series for the first time in almost a decade with an 8-0 rout of the lowly Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Matz (4-1) has a 0.67 ERA over his last four outings, allowing no runs in three of them. With his defense making several sharp plays behind him on a cold, drizzly afternoon, the 24-year-old lefty struck out eight and walked none to close out the three-game series.
Rene Rivera, who started at catcher for Kevin Plawecki with a day game after a night game, and Asdrubal Cabrera also homered for New York, which has won 10 of 12. The Mets last won six straight series in August and September 2006.
With two outs in the second inning, Jhoulys Chacin (1-2) walked Wilmer Flores to bring up Rivera, the No. 8 hitter. Rivera hit a ball to left that traveled only about 340 feet but hooked inside the foul pole and just cleared the fence for a two-run homer.
That snapped a 17-inning scoring drought for the Mets going back to the first in Monday's series opener. They didn't wait long before scoring again this time. Cabrera and Duda added two-run homers of their own in the third inning for a 6-0 lead.
Matz retired 19 of his first 20 batters, the only baserunner coming on a single by the opposing pitcher, Chacin, in the third.
Chase d'Arnaud opened the eighth with a deep drive to right but Curtis Granderson ran the ball down and reached back for a tough catch. With two outs, though, Erick Aybar singled for the Braves' second hit, and Matz came out of the game at 106 pitches - 78 of them for strikes.
The Braves have been held to one or no runs eight times in 27 games this season.
Duda homered again with two outs in the fifth, his solo shot extending the lead to 7-0. Neil Walker then walked and Flores, playing third base to give David Wright a rest, drove him in with a double to make it 8-0 and knock Chacin out of the game.
Chacin allowed eight runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.
MARKAKIS HEADS HOME
Braves RF Nick Markakis left the team because of a family emergency, manager Fredi Gonzalez said before the game. Gonzalez said Markakis called him Wednesday morning to say he needed to head home to Maryland. The veteran is expected to be back in time for Friday's home game against Arizona. Atlanta is off Thursday.
D'Arnaud started in right field and rookie Mallex Smith led off Wednesday after hitting his first career home run from the No. 9 spot Tuesday.
OLIVERA LEAVE EXTENDED
Braves OF Hector Olivera's paid administrative leave has been extended through May 10 in an agreement by Major League Baseball and the players' association. Olivera was arrested April 13 and charged with assaulting a woman at a hotel outside Washington, D.C. Under baseball's domestic violence policy, paid administrative leave is limited to seven days, but management and the union can extended that if both sides agree.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (3-0) faces Padres RHP Colin Rea (2-1) on Thursday as New York opens its longest road trip of the year, an 11-game swing through San Diego, Los Angeles and Colorado.
Braves: RHP Aaron Blair (0-1) takes the mound against Arizona RHP Zack Greinke (2-2) on Friday as Atlanta begins a six-game homestand.