ATLANTA — Seth Lugo isn't pitching like a 26-year-old rookie for the Mets.
Lugo pitched seven strong innings and Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam as New York beat the Braves 10-3 on Sunday.
The Mets have won seven of eight and are 16-5 since Aug. 20. They moved one-half game ahead of the Cardinals for the second NL wild-card spot.
"I tell myself they're going to put the ball in play," said Lugo, who has a 1.99 ERA in five starts since joining the rotation on Aug. 19. "I'm not going to try to trick them or throw it by them. I'm going to throw it in the strike zone — quality pitches, quality location and let them get themselves out."
BREWERS 2, CARDINALS 1: Ryan Braun hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, and visiting Milwaukee dropped St. Louis back in the NL wild-card race.
NATIONALS 3, PHILLIES 2: Gio Gonzalez pitched seven sharp innings and Anthony Rendon doubled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh for host Washington.
MARLINS 3, DODGERS 0: Jose Urena pitched 82/3 four-hit innings, leading host Miami in the rubber match of the series.
GIANTS 5, D'BACKS 3: Former Ray Matt Moore struck out 11 in seven innings as visiting San Francisco completed a series sweep.
RED SOX 11, BLUE JAYS 8: David Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and visiting Boston reclaimed a two-game lead over Toronto in the AL East.
ORIOLES 3, TIGERS 1: Chris Tillman pitched six impressive innings in his return from the disabled list and Michael Bourn and Jonathan Schoop homered off Justin Verlander for visiting Baltimore.
INDIANS 7, TWINS 1: Corey Kluber struck out 10 in seven innings, and Carlos Santana hit a three-run homer for visiting Cleveland.
ANGELS 3, RANGERS 2: Andrelton Simmons hit two solo home runs, his second and third of the season, to lift host Los Angeles.
MARINERS 3, A'S 2: Ketel Marte hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth, and visiting Seattle stayed 3½ games behind in the AL wild-card race.
ROYALS 2, WHITE SOX 0: Ian Kennedy and three relievers combined on a two-hitter as visiting Kansas City won its second straight.
Around the league
A'S: DH Billy Butler was released despite still being owed $10 million for next season.
BRAVES: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski has not decided to retire, as was reported late Saturday. He did go on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
ROYALS: The team and centerfielder Lorenzo Cain have agreed to wait a week before deciding if he will be shut down because of his troublesome left wrist.