(The Sports Xchange) - Jonathon Niese allowed three hits over six innings and combined with three relievers on a shutout as the Mets edged closer to the National League East title by beating the Atlanta Braves, 4-0 on Monday.
The victory increased the Mets (85-65) division lead over the Washington Nationals to 6-1/2 games. The Nationals’ game against the Baltimore Orioles was rained out.
“We needed this one bad,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
“There are big wins. This one is a big win for us right now. Kind of rights the ship a little bit, especially after yesterday and all the things that have taken place.”
Niese walked two, struck out two and induced 13 ground ball outs, including eight in a row to start the game, before right-handers Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia combined to allow two hits over the final three innings.
“I just go out there and give it my best effort. It’s good to get the win,” Niese said.
Left fielder Michael Conforto hit a solo homer in the second before second baseman Daniel Murphy (2-for-4) delivered a two-run double in the seventh.
Right fielder Curtis Granderson scored two runs and center fielder Yoenis Cespedes had three hits.
The Braves (60-91) had a three-game winning streak snapped.
“It’s hard to win when you don’t score any runs,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
“We won three games back home with just scoring six runs. But with this team here, you’ve got to score runs.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury