ATLANTA - Andrelton Simmons' two-run single in Atlanta's three-run fourth helped the streaking Braves beat Daisuke Matsuzaka and the New York Mets 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy hit two-run homers for the Mets, who have lost three straight and six of seven.
The Braves overcame a shaky start from Mike Minor to protect their one-half game lead over Washington in the NL East. Atlanta has won six straight, its longest streak of the season.
Shae Simmons (1-0) took over for Minor in the fifth and pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings. Craig Kimbrel earned his 26th save by striking out Eric Young Jr., Granderson and Bobby Abreu in the ninth.
Matsuzaka (3-3) allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. He has lost three straight starts.