NEW YORK (AP) — Dillon Gee expected to pitch this well in his return from the disabled list. What surprised him was the new attitude in the New York Mets clubhouse.
David Wright ignited a tiebreaking rally in the seventh with a hustle double, Travis d'Arnaud gave Gee some cushion with a two-run drive later in the inning and New York beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Wednesday night for its first four-game winning streak in a year.
In his first start in two months, Gee (4-1) pitched seven-plus dominant innings as the Mets won the first three of a four-game series against the Braves less than two weeks after being swept in Atlanta.
"It's very different," Gee said. "Guys are having a lot of fun."
The mood is shifting in the visitor's clubhouse, too.
The Braves went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position in their fourth straight loss, dropping them a game behind first-place Washington in the NL East after surging to the top of the division with a nine-game winning streak.
Atlanta has scored just eight runs over the skid and is 5 for 38 (.132) with runners in scoring position over that span.
"When we were winning nine in a row we were driving in the runs in situational hitting," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Obviously we are not doing that now."
D'Arnaud's long ball in the seventh came two pitches after Kirk Nieuwenhuis gave New York the lead with a sacrifice fly. The drive to left field off Ervin Santana (7-6) gave New York a homer in nine straight games at Citi Field, a team record for the stadium that opened in 2009.
Wright hit a lazy liner to left-center leading off the seventh. He slowed as he made the turn at first but then took off when he saw center fielder Justin Upton make a lackadaisical attempt to get it back in, flopping into second as Upton's late throw sailed toward the Mets dugout. Wright advanced on Lucas Duda's fly to right.
"Tremendous job running the bases," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Heads up play."
Duda gave the Mets an early lead with a two-out RBI single in the first. B.J Upton's RBI double in the fifth tied it 1-all. Santana scored after reaching on an infield single.
In between, both starters were particularly stingy, allowing three baserunners total between the second and fifth innings. All three were wiped out by double plays — two by the Mets.
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