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Saturday May 23rd, 2015 9:26AM

Gee makes impressive return, Mets beat Braves

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- David Wright ignited a tiebreaking rally in the seventh inning with a hustle double, Travis d'Arnaud gave Dillon Gee some cushion with a two-run drive later in the seventh and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Wednesday night for their first four-game winning streak in a year.<br /> <br /> Gee (4-1) returned from two months on the disabled and pitched seven-plus dominant innings as the Mets won the first three of a four-game series against the Braves after being swept in Atlanta less than two weeks ago.<br /> <br /> The Braves have lost four straight after a nine-game winning streak.<br /> <br /> D'Arnaud's long ball in the seventh came two pitches after Kirk Nieuwenhuis gave New York the lead with a sacrifice fly. The drive to left field off Ervin Santana (7-6) gave New York a homer in nine straight games at Citi Field, a team record for the stadium that opened in 2009.<br /> <br /> Wright hit a lazy liner to left-center leading off the seventh. He slowed as he made the turn at first but then took off when he saw center fielder Justin Upton make a lackadaisical attempt to get it back in, flopping into second as Upton's late throw sailed toward the Mets dugout. Wright advanced on Lucas Duda's fly to right.<br /> <br /> Duda gave the Mets an early lead with a two-out RBI single in the first. B.J Upton's RBI double in the fifth tied it 1-all.<br /> <br /> In between, both starters were particularly stingy, allowing three baserunners total between the second and fifth innings. All three were wiped out by double plays - two by the Mets.<br /> <br /> Activated from the disabled list to make the start, Gee fit into the rotation slot left open when Jonathon Niese went on the DL on Sunday because of a left shoulder strain. Manager Terry Collins was confident that Niese will miss only one start because of the All-Star break that starts after next Sunday's games.<br /> <br /> The 28-year-old Gee was on quite a roll when he strained his right lat May 10, going 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA in his last five starts.<br /> <br /> Back on the mound with a scruffy beard Wednesday, he was just as good.<br /> <br /> Gee faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings. A walk to leadoff batter B.J. Upton was wiped out by a caught stealing - after a replay review. New Jersey native Tommy La Stella opened the third with a single but Gerald Laird grounded into a double play.<br /> <br /> Gee got some defensive help from an unlikely source to end the fifth, when Bobby Abreu crashed into the wall in left field to catch Chris Johnson's flyball. The 40-year-old Abreu was greeted by a smiling group of teammates at the top of the Mets dugout.<br /> <br /> Gee was lifted in the eighth with runners on first and second and no outs having thrown 88 pitches. He allowed six hits, a walk and struck out four.<br /> <br /> Vic Black then got three outs to quash the rally. Jenrry Mejia gave up two hits and threw a two-out wild pitch in the ninth before striking out La Stella to loud cheers from the sparse crowd for his ninth save in 11 chances.<br /> <br /> Santana was equally tough into the seventh. After allowing a double to Daniel Murphy and Duda's RBI hit in the first, he yielded just one hit until Wright doubled.<br /> <br /> He allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings. Coming in, the Mets had just one run in 15 innings this season against Santana.<br /> <br /> <b>NOTES:</b> The Mets optioned RHP Gonzalez Germen to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Gee. ... The Braves wore white T-shirts during batting practice with the message in red letters: "(hashtag)voteJup; for the 2014 All-Star game." OF Justin Upton is one of five candidates for the final NL All-Star spot, selected by fans in internet voting that ends Thursday. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said about C Evan Gattis (back), "I don't see him being ready to play" right after the All-Star break next week. ... Up next: Atlanta's Aaron Harang (8-6) and New York's Bartolo Colon (8-7) face off in the finale of the four-game series.
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