Braves vs. Mets
When: 7:10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Turner Field, Atlanta
On TV: Fox Sports South
ATLANTA — Rookie Steven Matz pitched five strong innings, Yoenis Cespedes had a home run and three RBIs and the New York Mets took another step toward a division title with a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
With Washington losing to Miami 2-1, the Mets lead the NL East by a season-high 8 1/2 games. It was the Mets’ fifth straight victory.
Matz allowed one run and six hits as he improved to 3-0 in four career starts and lowered his ERA to 1.88 against an anemic Braves offense that is last in the majors in runs.
Rookie Matt Wisler (5-7) took the loss for the Braves after allowing two runs in five innings. Wisler has lost six straight decisions for the Braves, who have dropped 22 of their last 25 games. Atlanta has lost 10 straight at Turner Field, tying the franchise single-season home losing streak.
Cespedes hit a two-run homer in the ninth and had a line-drive double in the third that scored Curtis Granderson. Cespedes has seven home runs in his last 10 games and 100 RBIs for the season. He has 39 RBIs in 38 games with the Mets, who acquired him on July 31 from the Tigers.
The Mets scored on a balk by Wisler in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead, then added an insurance run on a passed ball in the eighth that scored Eric Young Jr.
Granderson scored three times for the Mets.
Braves rookie infielder Daniel Castro hit his first career home run in the fifth inning, driving a Matz fastball into the left field seats with no one on. The blow cut the Braves’ deficit to 2-1.
The win was the 80th on the season for the Mets, marking the first time New York has reached that milestone since 2008.
Mets: Pitching coach Dan Warthen returned to the team after missing Thursday’s game and spending one night in an Atlanta hospital with a racing heartbeat. The team announced the heartbeat “corrected itself” and Warthen was back with the team Friday. . RHP Hansel Robles remains in the Dominican Republic attending to a death in the family.
Braves: OF Cameron Maybin missed his sixth straight game with an eye infection. He is day to day and available for pinch-running duty. . RHP Ross Detwiler will be out indefinitely with a hamstring injury suffered during Thursday night’s 16-pitch outing.
Mets: Rookie Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.31) will return to the mound after his last turn was skipped. His last start was Aug. 30, when he got a no-decision in a 5-4 win over the Red Sox. Syndergaard lost to the Braves on June 20, giving up four runs in four innings during a 6-4 defeat.
Braves: Rookie Williams Perez (5-6, 5.42) opposed Syndergaard on June 20 and picked up the win, surrendering four runs in six innings. He also recorded his only save against the Mets on June 13.