Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Steven Matz took a shutout into the seventh inning and ultimately allowed one run on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over seven frames. It was Matz's first big league start since last Aug. 16.
2) Jay Bruce extended his hitting streak to seven games with his team-leading 16th home run, a three-run shot in the fifth that broke open a scoreless game. T.J. Rivera connected on a pinch-hit homer in the seventh, Travis d'Arnaud had a sacrifice fly and Juan Lagares doubled in two runs in the ninth.
3) Wilmer Flores doubled twice, tripled and reached on a replay-aided infield single in the ninth to finish 6-for-9 in the doubleheader. Neil Walker -- who reached safely four times in his first start since Tuesday -- and Bruce had two hits apiece for New York, which collected 12 hits.
Post-game reaction from Michael Avallone...
Matz's performance was just what the Mets A) needed and B) hoped to see. After missing the first two-plus months of the season with elbow soreness that no one really was able to diagnose, the 26-year-old looked nothing like a pitcher making his first Major League start in nearly 10 months
Matz was consistently in the 92-93 mph range with his fastball, showed a strong curve and his changeup also was a plus pitch. In other words, he looked like the healthy and succesful Matz of 2015 and 2016. For a team that has watched their starters either go down with injury or struggle, it was a huge relief to see Matz come up with an outing like he did.
All in all, a pretty good day for the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes and Matz both return and both come up big and help lead New York to a much-needed doubleheader sweep, with quite a bit of help from Flores, who just keeps hitting. Let's see if the Mets can build off a pair of uplifting moments and get on some sort of roll, because they're going to need it with the upcoming schedule... >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
Highlights from the game...
News and notes...
The Mets swept a doubleheader for the first time since June 18, 2013, which also came against the Braves.
New York matched a club record by homering in its 14th consecutive road game, done previously from Aug. 12-Sept. 8, 1998. The Mets have gone deep 21 times in their last 10 games away from Citi Field and lead the Majors with 54 roundtrippers on the road.
Bruce is batting .354 (11-for-31) with four homers and eight RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.
Flores is hitting .390 (39-for-100) with 11 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in 32 games since the beginning of May. It was his third career game of four or more hits and his first since he went 6-for-6 last July 3.
Jose Reyes' bloop single in the fifth snapped an 0-for-27 skid and preceded Bruce's three-run homer.
T.J. Rivera and Tyler Pill were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game.
What they said after the game...
Terry Collins on the win and Matz's performance: "This is what we thought we were going to get with guys we thought we were going to have. We have a lot of games left and now we got to make sure we work very, very hard to make sure Steven Matz goes out there every five days and Yoenis Cespedes finishes the season healthy."
Matz on his season debut: "I was able to locate the fastball away today. Didn't really have my greatest sharpest stuff today but I felt like I was able to execute pitches when I did. Defense behind me was playing great."
The Mets (27-33) will try to win the series against the Braves (27-34) as they finish their road trip at SunTrust Park on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on PIX11.
Seth Lugo (5-2, 2.67 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 2016) hopes to mimic Matz's season debut with his own in the series finale. The right-hander has been on the disabled list the entire season with a partial muscle tear in his elbow. Lugo surrendered two runs over seven innings in his only start against Atlanta last Sept. 11.
Jaime Garcia (2-4, 3.21 ERA 1.23 WHIP) toes the rubber for the Braves in his 12th start of the season. The southpaw has allowed three runs or less four straight starts, although he suffered the loss when he surrendered three runs in 7 2/3 innings against the Phillies on Tuesday. Garcia yielded four runs over six innings in a 6-2 defeat against the Mets on April 6.