Tucker drives in 5, Wisler dominant as Braves beat Mets
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) Matt Wisler pitched like he was making a bid to stay in Atlanta for longer than just a fill-in start.
Matt Harvey pitched like he is in danger of losing his spot in the New York Mets' rotation.
Preston Tucker drove in a career-high five runs, Wisler allowed two hits in seven innings after being called up from the minors, and the Braves beat Harvey and the Mets 12-4 on Thursday night.
Wisler (1-0) was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett after Anibal Sanchez, the scheduled starter, strained his hamstring and was placed on the disabled list. Wisler impressed by allowing only one run on two hits with no walks.
"That's the best I've seen him since I've been around him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "On the attack, pitching to get guys out. I really liked what I saw."
Wisler made his first major league start since June 10, 2017, also against the Mets.
"I honestly felt kind of like my debut," Wisler said. "It's been a long time since I started up here."
Mets manager Mickey Callaway wouldn't commit to giving Harvey his next scheduled start. Harvey (0-2) allowed six runs in six innings, leaving his ERA at 6.00.
"We haven't made that determination yet," Callaway said. "We'll see moving forward. I'm not sure what we're going to do."
Harvey wasn't receptive to a question about possibly moving to the bullpen.
"I'm a starting pitcher," Harvey said. "I've always been a starting pitcher. That's my mindset."
Harvey at least took pressure off the Mets' bullpen by making it through six innings. He retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced and ended a streak of 12 consecutive starts, including his last nine starts of 2017, in which he failed to last longer than five innings.
"That last three innings I think I was able to break through that mental block I was feeling every time I went out there," he said. "I know that the results aren't there. I feel bad that it took me so long to figure it out."
Kurt Suzuki had three hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run homer off Harvey in the first inning.
The Mets, who scored nine runs in the eighth inning on Wednesday night to beat Washington 11-5, scored three in the eighth. Sims' bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo forced in a run.
Wisler retired the first 11 batters before Asdrubal Cabrera singled in the fourth.
Johan Camargo, a defensive replacement at third base, made a diving catch in front of the Mets' dugout of Jose Reyes' short popup.
Mets: LHP Jason Vargas (broken right hand) is expected to make a minor league rehab start this weekend and could be recalled as soon as the following weekend. That has sparked speculation about how the Mets will make room for Vargas in the rotation. "It just so happens a starter is coming back and somebody is going to the pen," Callaway said.
Braves: Snitker said Sanchez already is showing improvement. Initial concerns were that Sanchez might miss several weeks, but now the Braves hope the right-hander's time on the DL may be shorter.
TUCKER'S BIG NIGHT
Tucker doubled in two runs in the third and added a three-run double off Jerry Blevins in the seventh. His previous career high was three RBIs.
The big night moved Tucker into a tie with Washington's Bryce Harper for the NL lead with 18 RBIs.
FIRST ROAD LOSS
The Mets opened a 10-game trip with their first loss away from home this season. New York's 6-0 start in road games was the best in franchise history.
FREEMAN KEEPS HITTING
Freddie Freeman, who suffered no structural damage to his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Phillies left-hander Hoby Milner on Wednesday night, had two hits.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.95) will try for his first career win against the Braves when the series continues on Friday night. Syndergaard is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.
Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.02) was 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA against the Mets as a rookie in 2017.
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Updated April 19, 2018