|Chris Bassitt in his start on Wednesday. @Mets on Twitter.|
The Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-3, on Wednesday afternoon to take two of three in their critical three-game series at Truist Park and improve their record to 55-34, and they increased their lead over Atlanta (53-37) to 2 1/2 games in the National League East race.
The Mets' offense went to work quickly against Braves starter Charlie Morton, as Eduardo Escobar hit a solo home run in the second inning, his 10th of the year, and Francisco Lindor hit a three-run shot, the 16th of the season for him, in the third to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.
Mark Canha made it a 5-0 lead when he led off the sixth inning with a solo shot off Morton, who then walked Dom Smith before was lifted. Morton's final line was: 5 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (all earned), three walks, six strikeouts. He fell to 5-4 on the season with a 4.45 ERA (earned run average).
That was more than enough support for Mets starter Chris Bassitt, who was dominant and rose up to the moment, as he went six innings, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. He improved to 7-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.89.
The Mets tacked on a couple more runs in the seventh to put it away, as Guilorme got an RBI double off Braves reliever Jesse Chavez, who then balked to allow Lindor to come home and make it 7-1.
Drew Smith pitched the seventh and eighth innings, with the only blip being a solo homer to Austin Riley, who hit his 25th of the season, and Tommy Hunter handled the ninth, and he allowed a solo shot to Eddie Rosario to make it a 7-3 final.
Max Scherzer got the series started off on the right foot for the Mets on Monday night, as he had a strong outing to lead them to a 4-1 win.
Scherzer, in his second start back after he missed seven weeks due to an oblique injury, went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and no walks, with nine strikeouts. His record is now 6-1 with a 2.15 ERA.
It was a battle of aces as Max Fried took the mound for Atlanta, the Mets jumped out to an early lead in the third inning when Pete Alondo got an RBI double and he came into score when Luis Guillorme hit into a force out with the bases loaded.
Fried, who entered this one with a 9-2 record, went five innings, allowing those two runs on five hits and five walks, and five strikeouts.
Atlanta got a run back when Austin Riley homered off Scherzer, his 24th of the season, to make it 2-1 Mets.
Guillorme responded in the eighth when he hit a solo shot off Darren O'Day, and then in the ninth, with Jackson Stephen on the mound for the Braves, Brandon Nimmo drew a lead-off walk, and he scored on force out hit into by Alonso to make it 4-1.
The Mets bullpen held the lead, as Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless eighth, as he worked around a pair of hits and got a strikeout, and earned his 12th hold; and Edwin Diaz got his 19th save of the season as he srtuck out the side in the ninth.
On Tuesday night, the Braves got a 4-1 win of their own, powered by a pair of two-run homers, from Matt Olson in the sixth off Mets starter David Peterson, and Adam Duvall in the seventh off Seth Lugo. For Olson, it was his 14th homer of the year, and it was Duvall's 11th.
Francisco Lindor had given the Mets the lead in the fifth when he got an RBI triple.
The Braves got superb pitching in this one, as Spencer Strider allowed that one run on five hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts. Tyler Matzek went 1 1/3 innings, in which he didn't allow a run, hit, or walk, and struck out eight as he earned the victory to make his record 1-2 on the season. Collin McHugh went two innings, in which he just allowed a walk, and struck out two, and A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
Peterson had another quality outing for the Mets, as he allowed two runs on two hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts, in 5 1/3 innings, and he took the loss to fall to 5-2.