By The Sports Xchange
ATLANTA — Left-hander Steven Matz looked sharp in his first start of the season, allowing one run in seven innings to help the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 8-1 and sweep a day-night doubleheader on Saturday at SunTrust Park.
Matz (1-0) allowed five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in his first appearance since Aug. 14. The oft-injured southpaw opened the season on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. He improved to 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts against the Braves.
The New York offense was boosted by a pair of home runs, a three-shot by Jay Bruce and a two-run pinch-hit homer by T.J. Rivera. The Mets (27-33) have homered in 14 straight road games.
Atlanta starter Matt Wisler (0-1) pitched six innings and allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
The Mets added a run in the sixth when Wilmer Flores tripled and scored on a Travis d’Arnaud sacrifice fly. Flores was 4-for-5 in the nightcap and was 6-for-9 in the doubleheader to up his average to .333.
The Braves (27-34) scored their only run in the seventh when Dansby Swanson doubled and scored on Johan Camargo’s single. The run ended a streak of 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings by New York starters.
The Mets made it 6-1 in the eighth inning when Rivera connected for his second homer of the season, a two-run shot, against reliever Eric O’Flaherty. It was Rivera’s first home run since May 5 against Miami.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning when Bruce hit a three-run homer, his 16th home run of the season. It was the second time Bruce went deep against Wisler this season, earlier touching him for a three-run shot.
New York won the first game 6-1. Robert Gsellman pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam, the fifth of his career, in his return from the disabled list.
Gsellman (5-3) allowed only three hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. It was the first time in 11 starts this season that he has not given up a run.
Sean Newcomb, considered Atlanta’s top pitching prospect, made his major league debut. The left-hander (0-1) took the loss, despite allowing only one unearned run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
NOTES: The Mets activated LF Yoenis Cespedes from the disabled list. He had been sidelined since April 28 because of a left hamstring strain. Cespedes said he was not 100 percent, but said “I feel that I am ready to play.” He started the first game, but not the nightcap. … New York activated LHP Steven Matz for the second game of the doubleheader and sent INF Matt Reynolds to Triple-A Las Vegas. Matz has been on the disabled list all season because of left elbow inflammation. He was 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in four rehab appearances. … Atlanta sent RHP Jason Hursh to Triple-A Gwinnett to make room for LHP Sean Newcomb, who made his major league debut in the first game. … Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte did not start the nightcap. He had played in the team’s previous 59 games. … Atlanta C Tyler Flowers has reached base in 21 consecutive games. … New York SS Jose Reyes ended an 0-for-27 streak with a single in the fifth inning of the nightcap. … Atlanta LF Matt Kemp was ejected by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi at the end of the eighth inning.