Mets 11, Braves 1

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ATLANTA (AP)—It’s no great surprise to see Jose Reyes hitting triples and the New York Mets scoring a lot of runs.

The Mets’ pitchers are keeping pace, and that is a surprise.

Oliver Perez gave up only five hits in seven strong innings and Reyes was 3-for-6 with two triples and four RBIs to help the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 11-1 Friday night.

The Mets are 4-0 for the first time since 1985, when they opened the season with five straight wins for their best start ever. New York can match that start by beating the Braves on Saturday.

The way the Mets are pitching, the four wins could be the start of a big season for the defending NL East champions.

“They keep pitching like that, we’re going to be dangerous,” Reyes said.

The Mets have a 0.75 ERA and their starters have all four of their wins this season. They won their first four games, including three against St. Louis, by a combined margin of 31-3.

“It’s good, we just stay together,” Reyes said. “When we stay together, we’re going to be dangerous. We’ve got the talent here. We’ve got to see what we can do.”

Perez (1-0) continued the Mets’ season-opening string of terrific starting pitching. He gave up one run, struck out six and did not walk a batter.

“That’s about as good as I’ve ever seen him, I think,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “A lot of strikes, good movement. We didn’t have him in much trouble at all.”

The key for Perez was control. It was the first time Perez pitched six or more innings without a walk since Sept. 29, 2002. Perez, 0-7 in road games for the Pirates and Mets last season, won on the road for the first time since Sept. 24, 2005, when he earned the victory for Pittsburgh in an 8-3 win at Los Angeles.

“He threw strikes and he was pounding the zone,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “He was pretty dominant tonight. He pitched a great game.”

Perez was only 3-13 with a 6.58 ERA last season.

“I think last year I was thinking too much,” Perez said.

“I just try to throw strikes today.”

The left-hander won the No. 4 spot in the New York rotation by posting a 2-3 spring record with a 3.51 ERA. Jeff Francoeur’s fourth-inning homer off him was the Braves’ only highlight.

The Mets scored six runs in the eighth to turn the game into a rout.

“If you’re gonna get beat, you might as well get the snot knocked out of you,” Francoeur said.

Atlanta suffered its first loss after sweeping three games at Philadelphia.

Reyes led the majors in triples with 17 each of the last two seasons. He led off the game with his first triple to center off Mark Redman, and scored on Paul Lo Duca’s fly ball to left field.

Redman (0-1) made his first start for Atlanta after signing with the team in spring training. He gave up nine hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.

David Wright doubled and scored on Shawn Green’s one-out single in the sixth, and Reyes added a two-run triple. Reyes and Carlos Delgado had two-run singles in the eighth as the Mets took an 11-1 lead.

Reyes hit two triples in a game for the third time in his career and the first time since May 26, 2005, against Florida.

“He never ceases to amaze me,” Randolph said. “He’s one of those players, with everything he does we just look at each other and say wow.”

Notes

The Mets also opened the season with two straight road series in their 5-0 start in 1985. … 2B Chris Woodward, who played for the Mets last season, started and hit leadoff for the Braves. … The Mets outscored the Cardinals 20-2 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis to open the season. … The attendance for the Braves’ home opener was 51,014, a sellout.

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