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Stewart hits 2-run HR to highlight big day for Mets bats in 16-4 rout of Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — DJ Stewart hit a two-run homer in New York's four-run third inning and pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor smashed a ninth-inning grand slam to cap the rout as the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 16-4 on Thursday.

Jose Quintana (1-1) gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jeff McNeil drove in three runs with two hits in the best game of the season for the Mets' bats. New York set season highs for runs and with 16 hits.

“I thought from the first game of the series we had really good at-bats,” said New York manager Carlos Mendoza. “Even when we had the lead, we kept putting together good at-bats.”

Stewart's homer, which gave the Mets a 7-0 lead, was his second of the series. The designated hitter had no hits this season before hitting a two-run homer in the Mets' 8-7 win in the series opener on Monday night.

Infielder Luis Guillorme gave up the grand slam to Taylor in his first appearance with the Braves. Guillorme was used as a pitcher for the first time since appearances on the mound for the Mets in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he was trying to protect his bullpen by sending Guillorme to the mound.

“You have to look ahead,” Snitker said. “You've got to look at the whole thing, the extra days' rest when you can and staying away from the relievers at some point in time. It's just part of getting through 162 games.”

New York won two of three games in the rain-shortened series. The Braves were 10-3 against the Mets in 2023, when their won their sixth consecutive NL East title.

“It means a lot,” Stewart said. “They had our number last year and a lot of guys in this clubhouse remember that.”

Quintana did not allow a hit until Matt Olson lined a triple high off the right-field wall, just missing a homer, with two outs in the fourth. It was Olson's fifth career triple.

Right-hander Allan Winans (0-1) allowed seven runs, six earned, in five innings. Winans was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday when the Braves placed ace Spencer Strider on the 15-day injured list after an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Strider, who led the majors with 20 wins and 281 strikeouts last season, is facing possible season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Winans struggled but didn't have much help from Atlanta's defense. Center fielder Michael Harris II misjudged a liner by Brandon Nimmo in the second inning. The shot sailed over Harris, who was late to break on the ball, driving in Harrison Bader for a 2-0 lead.

Starling Marte followed with a grounder which bounced past shortstop Orlando Arcia for an error, allowing Nimmo to score.

Mets left-hander Tyler Jay, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, gave up a run in the eighth on Adam Duvall's infield single. Duvall was called out before a review showed he beat the throw to first base, allowing Austin Riley to score from third.

Jay allowed one run in two innings in his major league debut.

The first pitch was delayed 42 minutes by rain.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: Mendoza says “we are still having discussions” about Sunday's starter against Kansas City, following RHP Luis Severino and LHP Sean Manaea in the first two games. ... Mendoza said “we are paying attention” to Syracuse RHP Christian Scott, who allowed one run and had 10 strikeouts in five innings in a win over Worcester on Wednesday night.

UP NEXT

Mets: Severino (0-1, 3.60) will start as New York opens a three-game home series against Kansas City on Friday night. RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 2.25), who pitched for the Mets in 2020, is scheduled to start for the Royals.

Braves: LHP Max Fried (0-0, 18.00) will try to regroup after allowing 10 earned runs in five innings in his first two starts when Atlanta opens a three-game series at Miami against LHP Trevor Rogers (0-1, 5.40).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB