ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Steven Matz pitched five strong innings, Yoenis Cespedes had a home run and three RBIs and the New York Mets took another step toward a division title with a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.


New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) works during the first inning (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

With Washington losing to Miami 2-1, the Mets lead the NL East by a season-high 8 1/2 games. It was the Mets' fifth straight victory.

Matz allowed one run and six hits as he improved to 3-0 in four career starts and lowered his ERA to 1.88 against an anemic Braves offense that is last in the majors in runs.

Rookie Matt Wisler (5-7) took the loss for the Braves after allowing two runs in five innings. Wisler has lost six straight decisions for the Braves, who have dropped 22 of their last 25 games. Atlanta has lost 10 straight at Turner Field, tying the franchise single-season home losing streak.

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