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Torres proving to be a most valuable Met

Carlos Torres helped himself by driving in a run in the third inning. Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- Carlos Torres' night couldn't have started much worse. But it couldn't have ended much better.

Torres' second pitch of the game ended up in the left-field seats, off the bat of Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons. But he held the Braves scoreless from there, through six innings. And in the bottom of the sixth, the Mets broke up a 1-1 tie, allowing the 30-year-old to collect only his second major league win as a starting pitcher.

His first came four years ago -- on Sept. 3, 2009, as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

"Good," Torres said when asked how the win felt. "As long as the team gets a win, I’m happy."

Carlos Torres

Carlos Torres

#52 RP
New York Mets

2013 STATS

  • GM12
  • W1

  • L1

  • BB4

  • K26

  • ERA0.94

It wasn't easy -- the Braves had seven hits against Torres, and put at least one runner in scoring position in five of his six frames. But he worked out of trouble each time, aided in part by the defense behind him. Center fielder Juan Lagares threw out Jason Heyward at home plate in the first inning.

Torres also helped his own cause with an RBI single in the third.

Torres hadn't pitched since July 13, prior to the All-Star break, and said he "really wasn’t that sharp at all" Tuesday night.

Manager Terry Collins agreed, but blamed the long layoff. "I think it’s evidence of the 10 days off," Collins said. "Because what we saw before he went into his last start, he does nothing but throw strikes. He was kind of off with his command."

"It was obvious that he was kind of getting used to being out there again," Collins added. "But again, when he had to make pitches, he made pitches."

Torres has given the Mets a huge boost since being called up from Triple-A in mid-June. He was outstanding in his first 10 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Then he gave up just one run on five hits in his first start July 13 against the Pirates, filling in for Matt Harvey.

In 28 2/3 innings overall, Torres has allowed just three earned runs, giving him an ERA of 0.94.

Why the sudden success, after struggling in spring training and being sent to Triple-A to start the season? Torres attributes it to his body direction toward home plate.

More specifically, he was trying to adjust it during the spring but couldn't get comfortable, so he decided to revert back to his old approach.

"I was like, 'Well, let’s just bag all that stuff and just go back to what we were doing before,'" Torres said. "The direction to home plate, I’ve always been a little off to the side, but it is what it is."

Torres will probably head back to the bullpen once Jonathon Niese comes off the disabled list.

But whether Torres is starting or relieving, the former 15th-round draft pick seems to have finally figured things out -- and the Mets are the beneficiaries.

"Never really thought about it, to tell you the truth," Torres said when asked how pleased he is about his season thus far. "I’m literally just trying to find what I can do to help this team. As of right now, it’s starting and getting some innings in."