Atlanta, GA – Ben Sheets threw six shutout innings in his return to a major league mound, and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 6-1 victory on Sunday at Turner Field.
Sheets (1-0), who made his first big-league start since July 19, 2010 with the Oakland A's, allowed just two hits and struck out five while walking one to collect the win. Anthony Varvaro, who got the win on Saturday, tossed a scoreless ninth inning to close it out for Atlanta, which extended its winning streak to seven games.
Freddie Freeman cracked a three-run home run, while Jason Heyward, Martin Prado and Michael Bourn added an RBI apiece in the victory.
"He looked good today," Bourn said of Sheets' effort. "I know he had to be on a limit because it was only his first start. He threw the ball well. He gave us a chance and kept them off balance pretty good."
Andres Torres knocked in New York's lone run with a single and Johan Santana (6-6) took the loss after being tagged for six runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out three in the loss, the Mets' fourth straight.
After being completely shut down by Santana through four innings, the Braves finally broke through in the fifth in a big way.
Matt Diaz started the inning with a ringing double to center and Paul Janish drew a walk on a borderline 3-2 pitch. Santana got Sheets to foul out but left a pitch up to Bourn, who sliced it just fair down the line in left to score Diaz.
Prado lifted a sacrifice fly to right, which allowed Janish to hustle home and Heyward followed with a base hit to right to bring home Bourn for a 3-0 lead.
Chipper Jones wrapped one back up the middle and Freeman capped the big inning when he turned on a high changeup from Santana and launched it about six rows deep in right field, giving the Braves a comfortable 6-0 cushion.
"We felt we threw good pitches, we didn't get the call," Santana said. "It's tough when we have a game like this, that one pitch can be the difference, but I didn't question anything, I was doing my job. It's too bad that a couple of pitches changed the whole game."
Scott Hairston roped a one-out double in the New York seventh and came around to score on a single to left by Torres, cutting the deficit to 6-1.
Sheets was signed to a minor league contract by the Braves on July 1. The right-hander made a pair of starts for Double-A Mississippi and went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. He is 91-92 over nine years with Milwaukee and Oakland and 5-2 in nine starts against the Mets...Janish made his first start at shortstop for Atlanta since being acquired in a trade from the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday...The win marked the Braves' first sweep of the Mets since September 17-19, 2010 at Citi Field, and their first sweep at home since September 15-17, 2009...Mets' third baseman David Wright's first-inning walk was his 586th walk, passing Otis Nixon on the all-time list...Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes.