Duda, Brown hit HRs, Mets drop Braves 5-2
The innings are adding up for Dillon Gee.
So are the wins.
After struggling the first two months of the season, Gee has been a quiet workhorse for the Mets' rotation, and he continued his roll Wednesday by allowing only one run in seven innings to lead New York past the Atlanta Braves, 5-2.
Gee (11-9) has lasted at last six innings in 13 straight starts and has set career highs with 28 games started and 173 1-3 innings. He has a chance to reach 200 innings.
"I think he's bound and determined to do that," said Mets manager Terry Collins before adding "Like I said last week, don't be surprised if you look up at the end of September and he has 14 or 15 wins."
Gee was 1-4 with a 5.96 ERA in April and 2-2 with a 5.46 ERA in May. Since then, he's 8-3 and has had his ERA under 3.00 every month.
"My main goals coming out of spring training this year were to get to 200 innings and take the ball every time it was my turn," Gee said. "I've done that so far."
Gee cruised after he was given a 5-0 lead in the third against the Braves. He allowed one run on four hits and one walk.
Lucas Duda had three hits, including a home run, and Andrew Brown added a towering two-run shot for the Mets.
Freddie Freeman homered off Mets reliever Vic Black with two outs in the eighth, but Gee's strong start left the Braves too far behind.
Collins said a key to Gee's strong recovery from his rough opening two months has been avoiding walks.
"He's a guy that can pitch," said Atlanta's Elliot Johnson. "He's got four pitches 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."
The Mets had 12 hits, including 11 in only 4 1-3 innings against Kameron Loe (0-2), who made his first start in the majors since 2007. He filled in for Julio Teheran, who was given a rest — a possible sign of things to come this month as the Braves move closer to the postseason.
"We were hoping he'd give us five or six innings and he was just an out or two short of that," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
At least two Mets hitters reached base in each of Loe's innings.
"It's a disappointment," Loe said. "I battled out there and gave it everything I had but I fell short today. I'll definitely improve on that.
"I've been pitching much better than I did today lately. I know I'm better than that."
Freddy Garcia and Anthony Varvaro combined to allow only one hit in 4 2-3 scoreless innings behind Loe.
LaTroy Hawkins gave up a double to Elliot Johnson to lead off the ninth. Dan Uggla and pinch-hitter Andrelton Simmons popped up and Hawkins earned his seventh save when pinch-hitter Chris Johnson struck out.
Loe, 33-43 in nine seasons with Texas, Milwaukee, Seattle, the Cubs and Braves, had pitched only in relief since making his last start with Texas in 2007. He was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and struggled in every inning against the Mets.
With one out in the first, Daniel Murphy tripled and Brown hit a homer that landed about halfway up the lower level of seats in left field.
Duda's homer was the start of the Mets' three-run third inning.
The low point for Atlanta in the inning came when center fielder B.J. Upton and left fielder Evan Gattis watched Gee's fly ball fall to the ground in the gap. The ball dropped closer to Upton, who stopped running and then looked at Gattis. Juan Lagares scored on the play.
Braves fans cheered when Gonzalez came to the mound to remove Loe in the fifth after the right-hander walked Gee.
Gonzalez rested Simmons, third baseman Chris Johnson and catcher Brian McCann.
The Braves had only one hit, a single by Paul Janish in the second, before scoring once in the fifth, on Upton's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: LF Eric Young Jr., who was 0 for 5, was the only Mets starter without a hit. ... Braves CF Jordan Schafer, who has a bruised left quadriceps, was removed from the original lineup. ... The Braves completed a 7-2 homestand. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said he doesn't expect 1B Ike Davis to return this season from his strained right oblique. Davis had an anti-inflammatory injection on Tuesday in New York. ... Collins said 3B David Wright has made progress but has no projected date for his return from a strained right hamstring. ... Both teams are off on Thursday. The Mets open a series in Cleveland on Friday night when RHP Zack Wheeler faces LHP Scott Kazmir. The Braves play at Philadelphia Friday night as LHP Mike Minor faces LHP Cliff Lee.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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