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Mets break even in Atlanta with win

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have by far the best home record in the majors, but that domination hasn't come at the expense of the New York Mets.

Dillon Gee held the first-place Braves to four hits and a run in seven innings, and the Mets finished 5-5 at Turner Field this season with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday.

"Don't be surprised if you look up at the end of September and he has 14 or 15 wins," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Gee improved to 11-9 with his ninth victory in his past 12 decisions. He struck out five, walked one and threw 78 of his 102 pitches for strikes.

"He's not hardly walking anybody," Collins said. "He's saving those pitches and getting easy outs."

Lucas Duda had a homer among three hits and Andrew Brown also went deep as the Mets pounded Braves fill-in starter Kameron Loe.

The only other team not to have a losing record in Atlanta is Cincinnati, which split a four-game series in July.

Freddie Freeman connected for his 19th homer of the season in the eighth inning for the Braves, who are 51-20 at home after a 7-2 homestand.

Gee, who has a 2.14 ERA since the All-Star break, was lost to shoulder surgery at midseason last year, but he leads the Mets with 28 starts this season and has pitched a team-best 173 1/3 innings.

"It was really tough finishing on the DL last year," he said. "My main goals this year coming out of spring training were to get to 200 innings and take the ball every time it was my turn."

Gee is 3-1 in his career in Atlanta, the loss coming on June 17 when Freeman spoiled a shutout bid with a two-run, walk-off homer in the ninth inning.

"It seems like every time he comes here he pitches really, really well," said Dan Uggla, who had one of the Braves' four singles off Gee.

It was the 13th straight start in which the right-hander went at least six innings and the 17th time in his past 18 outings that he has done it.

"Lately, I'm better at letting things roll off my back and staying positive," Gee said.

Julio Teheran, who has pitched 161 1/3 innings as a rookie while going 11-7 with a 3.01 ERA, was skipped by the Braves to give him a breather with the postseason approaching.

Loe, promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett, was no challenge for the Mets, though.

Brown followed a triple by Daniel Murphy with his sixth homer of the season in the first inning and Duda led off a three-run third with his 12th home run. Gee drove in the final run of the inning when his fly ball fell in left center between Evan Gattis and B.J. Upton for a single.

Loe (0-2) gave up 11 hits -- five for extra bases -- in 4 1/3 innings and also walked three, laboring through 102 pitches. It was 48th major league start for the 31-year-old, who made 195 relief appearances with Milwaukee from 2010 to 2012.

The Braves had just one hit until Uggla and Paul Janish opened the fifth with singles and the run scored on a sacrifice fly by Upton.

"He's a guy that can pitch," said Elliot Johnson, who had two hits for the Braves. "He's got three pitches or four that he's throwing in the strike zone whenever he feels like it. If you've got four pitches that you can command, it's going to be a tough day at the plate."

Freeman homered off Vic Black in the eighth and LaTroy Hawkins pitched around a leadoff double by Johnson in the ninth for his seventh save.

NOTES: Mets 1B Ike Davis, who left a game at Washington on Saturday with a strained right oblique, received a cortisone shot in New York on Tuesday and is likely to miss the rest of the season. Davis was hitting .205 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 103 games. ... OF Jordan Schafer, who turned 27 on Wednesday, was a late scratch from the Braves' lineup because of a left quad contusion suffered when he fouled a ball off the leg as a pinch hitter on Tuesday. ... Braves SS Andrelton Simmons turned 24 on Wednesday. ... Neither the Braves nor Mets play on Thursday.
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