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(Friday, September 7th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, New York 0
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Paul Maholm tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings, while Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla each crushed solo home runs, as the Atlanta Braves blanked the New York Mets, 3-0, in the opener of a three-game set Friday at Citi Field.
Maholm (12-9) scattered five hits and walked three while striking out six to snap a three-start winless skid. Craig Kimbrel worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to nail down his 35th save of the season and secure Atlanta's third consecutive shutout.
"As a starting pitcher you're going to try and outdo the last starting pitcher and just try to win games however you can," Maholm said.
Heyward homered in the fourth and Uggla added his 18th of the season in the ninth, as the Braves won their third straight game and fifth in their last six tries.
Jonathon Niese (10-9) gave up one run on five hits and one walk over six frames to take his third consecutive loss.
"You always hope that your offense gives you enough, but sometimes that's just the game of baseball," Niese said about the lack of run support.
After leaving the bases loaded in the third, the Braves broke through in their next at-bat when Heyward launched a one-out blast into right-center field to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Mets stranded a pair of baserunners in the third, fourth and sixth innings, as the Braves bullpen worked Maholm out of trouble in the sixth.
With runners on first and second and one out, Chad Durbin entered for Maholm and struck out pinch-hitter Justin Turner before Luis Avilan took over on the mound. After a passed ball put runners on second and third, the left-hander grounded out pinch-hitter Lucas Duda to end the frame.
Atlanta added a run in the seventh, as Uggla clubbed a leadoff double, moved to third on Kelly Shoppach's throwing error and then scored on a sacrifice fly by David Ross to press the lead to 2-0.
Jonny Venters retired the Mets in order in the bottom half, Eric O'Flaherty worked around a one-out walk in the eighth and Kimbrel fired a scoreless ninth to send the Mets to their third loss in their last four games.
Uggla's two-out homer in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
Niese has not walked more than two batters in any of his last 17 starts while pitching six innings or more. The stretch is the longest in team history ... It's the first time the Braves have registered three consecutive shutout wins since September 2002 ... New York went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
09/08 02:02:06 ET