Braves stall Mets’ push toward NL East title, 6-2
NEW YORK (AP) -- Rookie right-hander Matt Wisler stopped his nine-start winless drought and the Atlanta Braves stalled the New York Mets' push toward the NL East title with a 6-2 victory Tuesday night.
David Wright homered as the Mets lost for the fifth time in seven games. They held their 6 1/2-game lead over Washington, whose loss to Baltimore cut New York's magic number to six for clinching the division.
Down 4-1, the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. Edwin Jackson, Atlanta's fourth pitcher of the inning, gave up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer and got Wilmer Flores on a grounder to protect the lead.
Pinch-hitter Adonis Garcia lined a two-out, two-run double in the ninth off Mets reliever Tyler Clippard.
Jace Peterson led off the Atlanta fifth with a home run and Hector Olivera launched a three-run shot later in the inning off Logan Verrett (1-2).
Verrett pitched in place of All-Star Jacob deGrom, who was pushed back for extra rest. This was Verrett's third spot start of the season - he gave Matt Harvey breaks with the first two outings and threw well both times.
Wisler (6-8) struck out a career-high eight and left after a leadoff walk in the eighth. The 23-year-old, who beat the Mets in his big league debut June 19, had been 0-7 in his last nine starts.
The Mets had won five in a row against Atlanta, and Wright put them ahead again with a solo homer in the first. But other than Daniel Murphy's two doubles, New York rarely dented Wisler in finishing 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Olivera's tiebreaking homer came after an intentional walk to Nick Markakis with two outs.
The Braves won for just the eighth time in 35 games. They have the second-worst record in the majors after trailing the Mets by only 1 1/2 games a few days before the All-Star break.
Braves: Markakis started after missing two games because of stiffness in his upper back and neck. ... C Christian Bethancourt is still day to day after bruising his left wrist on a play at the plate Sunday.
Mets: 3B-2B Juan Uribe is "still pretty sore" after bruising his chest on a diving stop Sunday night, manager Terry Collins said. Collins said it didn't sound as if Uribe was available. ... Slumping C Travis d'Arnaud didn't start. Collins said it was a "safe bet" d'Arnaud would be in the lineup Wednesday. ... Righty reliever Carlos Torres is slowed by a strained left calf.
Braves: RHP Williams Perez (6-6, 5.16 ERA) is 2-0 in his last three starts. The no-decision was against the Mets, when he pitched six innings and gave up three runs. He made his big league debut this year and has one save, which came vs. the Mets.
Mets: Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.15) has won all four of his starts vs. the Braves this season. Three Atlanta hitters have caused him trouble - Andrelton Simmons (11 for 20), Freddie Freeman (9 for 20) and Nick Swisher (7 for 15 with two homers).
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