Mets win 11th straight to tie team record, 6-3 over Braves
NEW YORK (AP) With a perfect ride through their first homestand, the surprising New York Mets matched the best start in team history.
Next stop, the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium - and a shot at their longest winning streak ever.
Daniel Murphy drove in four runs and New York equaled a franchise record with its 11th straight victory Thursday, walking its way to a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves behind Bartolo Colon.
''I think it's so rewarding here in this clubhouse to kind of see the fruits of the labor over the last couple years, to see guys grow,'' Murphy said. ''And I think it's such a reward for the fans who have been coming out.''
The streaking Mets, with the top record in the majors despite injuries to captain David Wright and several other important players, are 10-0 at Citi Field after sweeping all their NL East rivals besides heavily favored Washington.
It is the fifth time the Mets have won 11 games in a row, and the first since 1990.
''It's a huge accomplishment,'' manager Terry Collins said. ''I'm very proud of the guys. But it's over. We're going to enjoy it tonight, but we've got to get ready. We've got a tough road trip ahead of us starting on the other side of town.''
Murphy hit an early three-run double, and the 41-year-old Colon outpitched All-Star Julio Teheran in a matchup of unbeaten starters. New York took advantage of eight walks and tied the 1986 World Series champions with a 13-3 start. That club also opened 2-3 before winning its next 11 games - and 18 of 19.
After beginning this streak April 12 in Atlanta, Colon (4-0) overcame a blister on his middle finger Thursday by throwing virtually all fastballs while pitching in short sleeves on a chilly, 49-degree afternoon. He allowed three runs over six innings to win his first four starts for the first time in his career.
Colon has struck out 23 and walked one this season, becoming the first four-game winner in the big leagues. The last starting pitcher 40 or older to open 4-0 was Roger Clemens in 2004 with Houston.
''Everybody's chipping in. Everybody's doing their part,'' Colon said through a translator.
Jeurys Familia worked a hitless ninth for his major league-best eighth save in eight tries since taking over for injured and suspended closer Jenrry Mejia.
Andrelton Simmons had two RBIs for the Braves, who managed six runs in the three-game series. Teheran, the last pitcher to beat the Mets on April 11, walked five in 4 1-3 innings.
''I'm not worried about the offense. I'm worried about our pitching and our bullpen a little bit right now,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Atlanta relievers Ian Thomas and Sugar Ray Marimon combined to issue three free passes in the fifth. Eric Campbell drew a bases-loaded walk from Marimon, who is Teheran's cousin, to force in the tiebreaking run.
Michael Cuddyer had an RBI groundout and Murphy added a run-scoring single to make it 6-3 in the seventh.
Teheran (2-1) walked three of his first four batters, and Murphy gave a big fist pump after his bases-clearing double to right.
''I feel like in each ballgame, no matter what happens, I feel like somebody's going to come through. And it's a really cool feeling to have,'' Murphy said. ''It's a lot of fun in here right now. It's a lot of fun to be a Met.''
PUT IT IN THE BOOKS
The Mets said they became the seventh team since 1900 to sweep a homestand of 10 or more games and the first since the 1991 Minnesota Twins, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. New York had never swept a homestand of seven or more games before.
Braves: Not often does a 38-year-old catcher play a night game and then start again the following afternoon, but that's what A.J. Pierzynski did. He went 3 for 3 with a walk Wednesday night, then added two more hits Thursday. He is batting .407 with three homers. ''We're trying to win games,'' Gonzalez said, adding that he checked twice on Pierzynski, who said he was fine. ''He's swingin' it.''
Mets: Backup catcher Anthony Recker, wearing a blue wrap on his right arm, made his third start this year. The team announced Wednesday he has a bone spur in the back of his right elbow that might be removed after the season.
Braves: After busing down to Philadelphia, the Braves send LHP Alex Wood (1-0) to the mound against RHP Aaron Harang (2-1) in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. Wood had a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Phillies last season, striking out 15 and walking one in 14 innings.
Mets: NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93 ERA) faces Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00 ERA) in the Subway Series opener Friday night. In his major league debut, deGrom lost 1-0 to the Yankees at home last May. He has thrown 18 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings.