- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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Kevin Plawecki contributed his first major-league hit in his major-league debut, Atlanta second baseman Phil Gosselin committed a critical error and Curtis Granderson drove in his first runs of the season in what became a four-run fifth inning. The Mets went on to win their ninth straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves, 7-1, on Tuesday at Citi Field.
With an 11-3 record, the Mets have matched the 1986 championship club for the best 14-game start in team history. The winning streak is their longest since July 5-17, 2008, when the Amazin’s rattled off 10 straight wins. The Mets are 8-0 at home to begin a season for the first time in franchise history.
Granderson, RBI-less through 12 games, drove in four runs. Granderson’s RBI-less streak was his longest drought to begin a season in his career. He went RBI-less in all eight games in which he had a plate appearance in September 2004 with the Detroit Tigers, the season he debuted in the majors.
Jonathon Niese took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning before surrendering a two-out solo homer to Cameron Maybin on pitch No. 101. Niese, who departed after issuing an ensuing walk, improved to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
Niese’s four-game hitting streak ended Tuesday, but a ball he put in play was pivotal in the outcome. With the bases loaded and none out in a scoreless game in the fifth, Niese hit a routine grounder to Gosselin at second base. Atlanta appeared poised to turn a double play while conceding the game’s opening run, as Eric Campbell scampered home from third base. Instead, Gosselin botched fielding the ball and the bases remained loaded with none out and the Mets leading 1-0. Gosselin's error was only the second of the season for the Braves.
Granderson followed with a two-run single. Granderson also contributed an RBI single in the sixth for a 5-0 lead. He added a run-scoring ground-rule double in the Mets' two-run eighth. Juan Lagares had an RBI single in the fifth, too, chasing starter Trevor Cahill while the Mets built a 4-0 lead.
Debutant: Plawecki’s first major league hit came in the four-run fifth, when he followed Campbell's leadoff walk with a single through the left side of the infield against Cahill. He also singled in the eighth against Sugar Ray Marmon and finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Behind the plate, Plawecki threw out Andrelton Simmons trying to advance to second base on a ball in the dirt in the sixth. Plawecki was promoted after d’Arnaud landed on the DL with a fractured bone in his right hand.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Plawecki joined Carlos Gomez, Jose Reyes, Jason Hardtke, Lenny Dykstra and Kelvin Chapman as the only Mets to have at least two hits and two runs scored in their major league debuts.
Rusty: Erik Goeddel made his first relief appearance since pitching 10 days ago in Atlanta during the season-opening trip. Inheriting a 5-1 lead and a runner on first base from Niese, Goeddel issued four straight balls to Jonny Gomes and departed.
New Jerry: Alex Torres, who assumes the primary lefty relief role with Blevins landing on the DL with a forearm fracture, inherited the two-on, two-out jam from Goeddel in the seventh. He struck out the dangerous Freddie Freeman to end the threat.
What’s next: Dillon Gee (0-1, 7.59 ERA) opposes left-hander Eric Stults (0-1, 6.30) at 7:10 p.m. ET Wednesday. Gee needs to pitch well to hold his rotation spot with Rafael Montero's return for an April 28 start in Miami looming.