Braves try to secure series win against Mets

The Atlanta Braves followed up a shutout defeat with one of their best offensive showings of the season.

The National League East leaders next try to secure a series victory on Tuesday night when they play the middle contest of a three-game set with the New York Mets.

The Braves were shut out for the 13th time this season on Sunday in the finale of their series with the Miami Marlins, but erupted for 17 hits in a 13-5 rout of the Mets yesterday.

Freddie Freeman matched a career high with five RBI, collecting two hits and a three-run homer. Jordan Schafer added four hits and stole three bases before exiting with a lower back strain, while Justin Upton scored three times.

"I guess we were seeing the ball well. We can really swing the bat well. That is great to see. Freddie is doing what he has been doing all year. We did really well today," said Andrelton Simmons, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBI.

Paul Maholm allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings for Atlanta, notching his first win since June 30.

The Braves won for the seventh time in eight games and reduced their magic number to claim their first NL East title since 2005 to 11. They lead Washington by 15 games in the standings after the Nationals lost to Philadelphia on Monday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled in his third start for the Mets. He gave up six runs over just three innings of work, throwing 72 pitches and watching his earned run average swell to 10.95. He has lost all three outings this year and has not won since Aug. 27, 2012.

Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda each drove in one run apiece for the Mets, who have dropped two straight.

"It was just one of those days where we couldn't get them out and we couldn't drive guys in. Add that up and it is a tough day," said Mets first baseman Josh Satin.

Kris Medlen will try to make things tough for the Mets again tonight and pick up a second straight win.

The right-hander went 4-2 with a 3.00 earned run average in six appearances last month, making five starts. Medlen snapped a two-decision skid on Thursday versus Cleveland, scattering six hits over seven scoreless innings of a 3-1 triumph.

He struck out six and did not walk a batter, improving to 11-12 with a 3.58 ERA this season.

"I think I've strung a few starts together where I feel pretty confident. I had some loud outs early on (tonight), but I think we made some adjustments even when I messed up a few fastballs where I was trying to go in," said Medlen.

The 27-year-old is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 18 previous meetings with the Mets, including eight starts.

Carlos Torres will make his second straight start in place of the injured Matt Harvey and pitched very well in a win over the Phillies on Thursday. The 30- year-old righty allowed just a run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings while fanning six in the 11-3 decision.

"It was good to have Carlos step up, because we don't know what's going to happen in the next couple weeks," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Certainly we need starting pitching so I'm glad he did a good job for us."

Torres is 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 27 games this season. That includes four starts and one of those came versus the Braves on July 23. Torres won on that day as well, logging six innings of one-run ball.

He is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in six career meetings with Atlanta, including the one start, and has allowed one run over 13 1/3 innings against them with 14 strikeouts.

The Braves have won nine of 17 over the Mets this season, splitting eight encounters in Atlanta.