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Gee pitches 6 shutout innings, Mets beat Braves

AP - Sports

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Dillon Gee stayed positive despite his tough spring for the New York Mets.

The type of outing he had Monday against the Atlanta Braves should make him feel even better.

Gee pitched six scoreless innings and struck out seven as the Mets topped the Braves 7-4. Gee had allowed 11 earned runs in his previous two starts and missed the second half of last season with a blood clot in his right shoulder.

''I've never gotten caught up in spring training,'' Gee said. ''I am just trying to be aggressive. To do well in a big lineup like I did today makes me feel good.''

Even though Gee allowed five earned runs in four innings in his last outing against the Houston Astros, Mets manager Terry Collins felt the right-hander turned a corner during that rocky outing.

''He got hit in that last inning, but he finished strong,'' Collins said. ''He came back to the dugout after it was over and said, 'I'm back.' He showed that today.''

Gee went 6-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 17 starts last season and is being counted on to be a mainstay in the starting rotation this season.

''I've been pitching well this spring and had some good bullpens, but it isn't what it is until you have to face a real batter,'' Gee said. ''It's coming around.''

Gee is convinced that he simply needs to stop overthinking his pitches.

''I have been thinking too much out there,'' Gee said. ''That's when I start to struggle. There's too much on my mind, so I just decided to be aggressive and just let it go. I have to keep it all out of my head and see what happens.''

Meanwhile, Mike Minor allowed five runs in five innings for the Braves as his ERA climbed to 6.26. He also walked two and allowed three home runs.

Minor has been hit hard this spring and allowed homers to Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffmann, and Collin Cowgill. Minor is scheduled for one more start before the team breaks camp. He said he isn't worried about his spring struggles.

''I think I did better today than I have been,'' Minor said. ''I just threw a few that went straight and they ended up going straight out of the ballpark.''

Minor said he brought a new attitude to camp this year and that his struggles aren't getting to him.

''I feel like I'm a whole different pitcher than I was last year,'' said Minor, who went 11-10 for the Braves in 2012. ''If I got hit like this last spring, it would have been completely different. This year, I am just thinking about the next pitch.''

Cowgill and Hoffman each had two hits for New York.

Jason Heyward and Justin Upton hit back-to-back homers off of Robert Carson for the Braves. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who has been hit hard this spring, pitched a scoreless inning.

Notes: Jeremy Hefner will start for the Mets on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie against the St. Louis Cardinals. Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals. ... OF Matt den Dekker was sent to New York after breaking his right wrist in Sunday's game. ... Collins said he still hasn't made any decision on the makeup of his bullpen, but he isn't committed to having two or more lefties. ... SS Ruben Tejada went 0 for 2 with a walk and saw his average drop to .085. Collins said he isn't overly concerned. ''Be careful how much you make out of spring training,'' Collins said. ''It's what happens under the bright lights that counts.'' ... Tim Hudson will start for the Braves on Tuesday against Detroit. Minor leaguer Shawn Hill will start for the Tigers. ... The Braves lead National League teams in hits this spring with 318. ... The Braves reassigned IF Blaine DeWitt, OF Jordan Parraz, and OF Joe Terdoslavich to minor league camp, and optioned C Christian Bethancourt to Double-A Mississippi.

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