Braves 3, Mets 0: Paul Maholm and five relievers combined on Atlanta's third consecutive shutout and Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla hit home runs as visiting Atlanta claimed the opener of a three-game series between the National League East rivals.
The Braves had not scored more than one run in a game since Monday. They have plated two earned runs in their past four games but have won three of those games via shutout.
Atlanta pulled within 6 1/2 games of NL East-leading Washington, which lost to Miami on Friday, and opened a 4 1/2-game lead atop the wild card standings.
Maholm (12-9) allowed five hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and evening his record at 3-3 since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs. The Braves bullpen allowed just two base runners the rest of the way, with Craig Kimbrel working around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 35th save. The Braves have recorded three straight shutouts for the first time since September 2002.
Heyward blasted a 3-2 fastball from Jon Niese (10-9) to right-center for his 25th homer to open the scoring in the fourth. The Braves added an unearned run in the seventh, when Uggla led off with a double, moved to third on catcher Kelly Shoppach's throwing error and scored on David Ross' sacrifice fly. Uggla's 18th home run made it 3-0 in the ninth.
Niese allowed one run on five hits over six innings to take the tough-luck loss. He has lost his last three starts.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Mets honored retiring Braves 3B Chipper Jones before the game. Jones is playing his final series at Citi Field. Jones, who went 0-for-4, is a career .312 hitter against the Mets and has 49 home runs against them, tied with Philadelphia for his most against any team. … The Braves are 4-for-38 with runners in scoring position over their past five games. … Maholm has not allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings against the Mets this season. … Kimbrel has pitched on three consecutive days for the first time since July 18-20. … Mets OF Andres Torres left after injuring his right knee while making a diving catch in the second inning.