Atlanta, GA – The New York Mets relied on their top two pitching prospects to sweep Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The Mets claimed a 4-3 victory in the first game thanks to Matt Harvey, who took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. He was charged with three runs on three hits while striking out 13 over seven-plus innings of work.
New York handed the ball to Zach Wheeler (1-0) in the second game. The Mets' top pitching prospect -- and northeast Georgia native -- allowed four hits over six scoreless innings to win his MLB debut. Wheeler, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft by the San Francisco Giants, fanned seven and walked five to help give the Mets a 6-1 victory.
"It was definitely an experience," said Wheeler. "I had some jitters going at first. Then I settled down a little bit, probably the fourth or fifth inning. I just found a rhythm and I was able to throw my pitches for strikes. That definitely helped me out."
Anthony Recker hit a two-run homer for New York, which had 14 hits. Omar Quintanilla added two RBI and Juan Lagares knocked in a run.
Justin Upton drove in the lone run for the Braves, who went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Atlanta starter Paul Maholm (7-6) gave up two runs on nine hits while striking out seven over seven innings.
"You hate losing games when you make mistakes," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But it doesn't matter how long you're here for. That's the way it goes. We've got two more games against these guys. We always talk about winning series. We win the next two and we win the series."
New York, which stranded men on second and third in the fourth and sixth, broke a scoreless tie in the seventh. Josh Satin led off with a single and scored on Recker's homer to center.
The Braves got one run back in the bottom half. Scott Atchison, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, exited the game with a sore right groin without facing a batter. Brandon Lyon came on and gave up consecutive single to pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer and Andrelton Simmons. The runners advanced one base on Jason Heyward's groundout and Justin Upton's sacrifice fly cut the gap to one.
New York responded with four runs in the eighth to pull away. Anthony Varvaro gave up a two-out double to Marlon Byrd, who scored on Varvaro's throwing error on a pickoff attempt and B.J. Upton's missed catch error. Satin walked and Recker singled before Lagares' RBI single. Quintanilla added a two-run single to make it 6-1.
Wheeler was able to escape many jams during his time on the mound. His first test came in the first inning when he put men on first and second with two outs. The right-hander got B.J. Upton to ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The trend continued for Atlanta in the second and third frames. Maholm struck out looking with a runner on second in the second, while B.J. Upton flied out with men on the corners in the third.
Wheeler worked out of one more jam in the sixth. With runners on first and second and two outs, Chris Johnson popped out.
Wheeler was traded to the Mets in the Carlos Beltran deal in 2011. In 13 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, Wheeler was 4-2 with a 3.93 ERA and struck out 73 batters in 68 2/3 innings ... Maholm fell to 6-4 lifetime versus the Mets ... Following the game, the Mets acquired outfielder Eric Young, Jr. from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitcher Collin McHugh. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Collin Cowgill was designated for assignment. The Mets also optioned Wheeler to Triple-A Las Vegas.