ATLANTA - Freddie Freeman hit a three-run home run to cap a six-run fifth inning and the Braves beat the Mets 6-1, sweeping the three-game series from their division rivals.
The Braves made a winner of Ben Sheets (1-0), who took the mound almost exactly two years from the date of his last major league start, July 19, 2010. Sheets allowed only two hits, both of them in the second inning, in six innings while striking out five and walking one.
Matt Diaz, who started in left field because of his .514 batting average against Mets ace Johan Santana (6-6), doubled to lead off the fifth inning. Two batters later, Michael Bourn doubled to left and drove him in with the first run of the game.
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen strode to the mound immediately, which turned out to be a pretext for giving home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor a piece of his mind. It didn't help. The Braves got another run on a sacrifice fly and three consecutive hits, ending with Freeman's home run.
The Braves scored their game-winning runs with two outs in each of the three games played.
The Mets, who had patiently worn down Braves pitching in the first two games, never tested Sheets, who had made only two minor league starts before his debut with the Braves no less.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez had joked before the game that the Mets' batters were "pesky" and "a pain." Sunday they were just went quietly until finally scoring a run in the seventh. Josh Torres's single drove in Scott Hairston, who doubled with one out.
Notes: Outfielder Jason Bay went 1-4 with a single and a run scored on an injury rehab assignment with Class AAA Buffalo on Saturday. The Mets are off Monday before a three-game series at Washington. While Bay could possibly join the team then, manager Terry Collins wants him to play as many Class AAA games as possible. "This is about at-bats," Collins says. "I'm not worried about fatigue." ... Outfielder Lucas Duda will have his sore left hamstring checked out by a doctor Monday. It is not thought to be a disabled list situation. ... Right-hander Frank Francisco continued to be treated for that oblique injury and has been shut down from throwing because he still has pain. ... Shortstop Paul Janish, acquired Saturday from the Reds in exchange for minor league pitcher Todd Redmond, started for the Braves. ... Second baseman Dan Uggla got another unwelcome start off. Manager Fredi Gonzalez wanted to start OF Matt Diaz in left against Mets LHP Johan Santana -- he was 18-35 (.514) against him while Uggla was 1-21 -- and didn't want to take INF/OF Martin Prado's bat out of the line-up; Prado started at second base. ... Right-hander Randall Delgado has been optioned to Class AAA Gwinnett, where he will start Monday. The Braves plan to bring him back to start one of the games of next Saturday's doubleheader against the Nationals in Washington. . . . Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, on the disabled list with a broken right little finger, jokes that the huge cast on his hand is annoying him so much he was ready to hack it off with scissors when its clunkiness woke him up at 5 a.m.