ATLANTA - Zack Wheeler lived up the hype in his major league debut, pitching six scoreless innings to lead the New York Mets to a 6-1 victory over the first-place Atlanta Braves and a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.
Wheeler gave up only four hits and struck out seven while consistently reaching the upper 90s on the radar gun. He struggled a bit with his control, walking five, but got out of every jam.
It was a long day that gave New York's long-suffering NL fans hope for a brighter future, led by two of baseball's most dynamic young pitchers. In Game 1 of the doubleheader, 24-year-old Matt Harvey (6-1) struck out a career-high 13 to lead the Mets past the Braves 4-3.
John Buck homered for the Mets in the first game, and Anthony Recker went deep in the second game. Bobby Parnell got four outs in the opener for his 10th save.
Recker, hitting just .158 coming into the game, broke up the scoreless duel between Wheeler and Paul Maholm (7-6) in the seventh, crushing his second homer of the season.
Atlanta rookie Alex Wood (0-1) lost his first career start in the doubleheader opener, lasting only three innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, MARLINS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning, helping Arizona end a four-game losing streak.
Goldschmidt's drive bounced high off the batter's backdrop in deep centre field. His 17th homer of the season was his second in as many nights, and the second game-ending home run of his career.
Martin Prado also homered for the Diamondbacks.
David Hernandez (3-4) threw a perfect top of the ninth for the win. Chad Qualls (2-1) lost for the first time in 27 appearances, with Goldschmidt connecting on his second pitch.
PIRATES 4, REDS 0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Pedro Alvarez singled home a pair of runs in the first inning, and Pittsburgh ended Mat Latos' streak of 21 regular-season starts without a loss.
Latos (6-1) hadn't lost a regular-season game since last August, setting a club-record streak of avoiding defeat. He couldn't overcome Pittsburgh's three-run first inning.
Charlie Morton (1-1) was better during his second start since returning from elbow surgery. He gave up three singles and threw 61 pitches in 5 1-3 innings, starting the Pirates toward their NL-leading 12th shutout.
Latos had nine of Cincinnati's 17 strikeouts, which matched the club's nine-inning record. The Reds also had 17 strikeouts on opening day, but that came in a 13-inning loss against the Los Angeles Angels.
Cincinnati's lineup managed four hits while getting shut out for the second time in their last four games.
GIANTS 5, PADRES 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Juan Perez hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the eighth inning and San Francisco snapped San Diego's seven-game winning streak.
Perez's clutch swing came after pinch hitter Jesus Guzman gave San Diego a 4-3 lead with a two-run homer in the top half of the inning
Brandon Belt finished with three hits to help the Giants move into a second-place tie with Colorado in the NL West.
Jean Machi (2-0) retired one batter for the win and Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his 17th save. Dale Thayer (0-3) took the loss.
San Francisco ace Matt Cain and Andrew Cashner each had a strong start. Cain had a season-high 10 strikeouts in seven innings and was charged with two runs. Cashner scattered 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings and allowed three runs.
PHILLIES 4, NATIONALS 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cliff Lee struck out nine in eight impressive innings for Philadelphia, and Michael Young tied a career high with three doubles.
Lee (9-2) allowed two runs and five hits to win his fifth straight decision. The three-time All-Star left-hander lowered his ERA to 2.53 and helped the Phillies move into a second-place tie with the defending NL East champion Nationals.
Jayson Werth and Jeff Kobernus hit homered for Washington.
Ross Detwiler (2-5) took the loss in a game that started one hour, 10 minutes late because of rain. He allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 14th save a night after blowing his first of the season and then getting the win.
CUBS 4, CARDINALS 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back homers in a four-run first inning and that was plenty for Jeff Samardzija, who pitched the Cubs to the victory.
Chicago started fast against Adam Wainwright (10-4) and broke a five-game losing streak in St. Louis.
Pinch-runner Shane Robinson was called out for interference while trying to break up a double play to end the game.
Carlos Beltran hit his team-high 17th homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the third time in five games but still lead the majors with a 45-26 record.
Samardzija (4-7) gave up two runs and seven hits in 8 1-3 innings. Kevin Gregg got David Freese to ground into a game-ending double play for his 10th save.