NEW YORK (AP) — Julio Teheran hasn’t lost to the Mets in nearly two years, and New York manager Terry Collins wasn’t shocked by his team’s reaction when Atlanta tagged Robert Gsellman for five runs in the first inning.
“I think the air came out of the balloon pretty fast,” Collins said.
Teheran stifled the Mets into the seventh inning, Gsellman staggered through another tough first and the Braves handed New York its fifth straight loss, 8-2 on Wednesday night.
Atlanta ended a six-game skid behind 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball from Teheran (2-1). The right-hander allowed four hits, four walks and a pair of sacrifice flies while striking out four. He is 4-0 with a 0.91 ERA in his last seven starts against New York dating to June 21, 2015.
“Well now that I’ve seen the results, I love pitching here,” Teheran said.
The ailing Mets got Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud back in the lineup but still dropped their ninth in 10 games. New York had five hits and is averaging 2.8 runs over its last 10 games.
“I thought we were way too good of an offensive club to struggle this bad,” said Collins, whose team is 8-12.
Gsellman (0-2) allowed his first seven batters to reach in an exasperating first inning, including one on his own throwing error. The 23-year-old rookie gave up six runs, 10 hits and three walks over four-plus innings. His ERA climbed to 6.23 one start after he pitched effectively into the eighth inning against Philadelphia.
Gsellman’s fastball velocity was down a couple of ticks, and he struggled with his command. The right-hander said he felt tight and off mechanically.
“Cold, little tight, it’s all right,” he said. “It’ll be back up next start.”
“Hopefully there’s nothing wrong physically,” Collins said. “But we’ve seen better stuff. Maybe just write this one off to a bad night.”
Tyler Flowers had a three-run double in the first and matched his career high with four RBIs.
Gsellman was announced as New York’s starter a few hours before the first pitch after having his scheduled start Tuesday rained out. The Mets initially indicated they would skip Gsellman’s turn and pitch Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday, but Collins opted to push his rotation back. When asked why, Collins said “because I wanted to” and insisted he never said Gsellman would be skipped, though even the Mets’ official Twitter account was promoting Syndergaard as Wednesday’s starter. Gsellman said Collins told him Tuesday night that he’d start this game.
Gsellman began the game with four hits allowed, two walks and his own throwing error. Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis had RBI singles, the latter when Freddie Freeman scored on an overturned call at the plate following Cespedes’ throw from left field.
Fans booed when Gsellman’s throw pulled first baseman Jay Bruce off the bag on Adonis Garcia’s swinging bunt, and they jeered again when Flowers doubled down the right field line to make it 5-0.
Gsellman has allowed nine of his 15 earned runs this season in the first inning.
“Just mechanically, just tight all around, not staying loose,” Gsellman said. “But it’s all right, I’ll fix it.”
Flowers chased Gsellman with an RBI single in the fifth.
New York’s Neil Walker hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
Markakis had three hits, and all eight starting position players for Atlanta had at least one.
INSULT, BUT LESS INJURY
Cespedes had been out since getting a cramp in his left hamstring last Thursday, and d’Arnaud caught for the first time since bruising his right wrist a week ago. The catcher was replaced by Rene Rivera in the fifth inning as part of a double switch. Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (hyperextended left elbow) and infielder Wilmer Flores (right knee infection) are on the 10-day disabled list.
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips exited in the second inning with a left groin strain and is day to day.
Mets: Collins said LHP Steven Matz (left elbow inflammation) and RHP Seth Lugo (partially torn elbow ligament) are up to throwing 120 feet and should start pitching off a mound soon. … Flores is out of the hospital and recovering in Florida.
New York acquired Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73 ERA) from Toronto in December 2012 by trading away knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-2, 3.86), that year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, as part of a seven-player swap. The two pitchers will face each other for the first time Thursday afternoon when the Mets and Braves wrap up their rain-shortened series.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Follow Jake Seiner on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jake_seiner
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.