NEW YORK --
FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets have the best record in the major leagues. Well, they share that distinction at least.
The Amazin's upped their winning streak to nine games by beating the Atlanta Braves in Tuesday's series opener at Citi Field.
The wins keep coming despite mounting injuries (and a suspension). On the shelf: David Wright, Zack Wheeler, Travis d'Arnaud, Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin, Jerry Blevins and yet-to-appear Bobby Parnell and Vic Black.
"They lost three guys in a matter of two or three days. But they've got a good club, a dangerous club, and they're playing really good baseball right now," Braves slugger Freddie Freeman said after Tuesday's 7-1 win by the Mets.
The Mets will attempt to run their winning streak to 10 games, matching their longest since July 2008, when Dillon Gee (0-1, 7.59 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
Gee essentially is pitching to maintain his rotation spot with Rafael Montero poised to return from Triple-A Las Vegas next week, at least for a spot start. Gee opposes left-hander Eric Stults (0-1, 6.30).
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS REPORTS:
After failing to drive in a run in 12 straight games to open the season, Curtis Granderson got off the schneid by producing four RBIs as the Mets beat the Braves on Tuesday. Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 and scored twice in his major league debut. Jonathon Niese improved to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA by limiting the Braves to one run in 6 2/3 innings. Niese nonetheless was displeased with issuing four walks and hitting a batter. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
D'Arnaud is treating Plawecki like a kid brother. D'Arnaud went with Plawecki to dinner on Monday night to prep the catching prospect for his major league debut. D'Arnaud then was available to Plawecki on the bench Tuesday for consultations. Plawecki indicated after his debut that he was happy it was behind him. Read more in the Post, Daily News and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
The Mets recognize the value of having d'Arnaud and Plawecki and are not eager to trade one. "If you're a foul tip from being noncompetitive at the position, that's a dubious place to be," vice president Paul DePodesta tells Jared Diamond in the Journal. "It can be tough to deal away from that strength."
Bobby Parnell struggled and had underwhelming velocity during a rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie on Tuesday. Parnell failed to hold a 1-0 lead in a save situation.
Darin Gorski allowed three homers and Reno beat Las Vegas, 8-3. Dustin Lawley had a solo homer in a four-run eighth as Binghamton rallied to beat Erie, 5-2. St. Lucie and Jupiter split a doubleheader. Maikis De La Cruz drove in three runs in the 10-4 win in the nightcap. Vicente Lupo had a game-ending groundout with two baserunners in scoring position and Savannah lost to Rome, 2-1. Read the full minor league recap here.
Reliever Hansel Robles did not make his major league debut Tuesday, but was active and available. Manager Terry Collins saluted Robles pregame for persevering despite once being removed from the 40-man roster.
Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post likes the look of the Mets.
Read more on Niese in the Daily News.
Tim Rohan in the Times profiles Mets-killer Freeman, who remains a Brave despite Atlanta's offseason remodeling.
These aren't Chipper Jones' Braves -- or the Mets he would remember either, columnist Anthony Rieber writes in Newsday.
From the bloggers … Mets Fan Weekly salutes Dilson Herrera.
BIRTHDAYS: No one who played for the Mets was born on this date, but Jack Nicholson, Kaká and Charlotte Rae all celebrate birthdays.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
— Andrew Friedman (@_AndrewFriedman) April 22, 2015
YOU'RE UP: Would you support the Mets letting Backman manage a division rival?