NEW YORK — Paul Maholm made David Ross’ fill-in night behind the plate a pleasurable one.
The left-hander pitched a three-hitter in his second start for Atlanta and the Braves got two-run homers from Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla to beat the New York Mets 4-0 on Friday.
“That was a lot of fun. That was a catcher’s dream right there,” said Ross, who was playing because Brian McCann was out with a sore shoulder.
Heyward connected in the first inning to help spoil Matt Harvey’s home debut with the Mets. Uggla went deep in the eighth off reliever Josh Edgin for his first homer in more than a month as Atlanta won for the 13th time in 16 games.
The Braves played this one without Chipper Jones. The All-Star third baseman said he was out with back tightness caused by the bed in his New York hotel room.
Maholm (10-7) was brilliant from the start at a ballpark in which he has struggled. Coming in 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA in four games, three starts, at Citi Field, he faced the minimum through five innings.
“It was a masterful performance,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Maholm, who was acquired from the Cubs on July 30.
The shutout was the fourth of his career and first since May 28, 2011, for the Pirates against the Cubs.
Maholm struck out five and in his sixth career complete game.
He threw 95 pitches – 64 strikes.
The Mets were coming off a 6-1 win against the Marlins to snap a nine-game losing skid at home and were excited for Harvey’s first start at Citi Field.
With about 100 friends and family among the 25,101 in the stands, Harvey threw a 93 mph strike to Michael Bourn on his first pitch. Things did not go so well after that. After a groundout, Heyward homered to right field on the first pitch, a 94 mph fastball. It was Heyward’s 19th homer and first since he turned 23 on Thursday
Harvey needed 33 pitches to get out of the first and 52 in the first two innings. He walked five through three innings and had a close call in the third when Freddie Freeman’s grounder up the middle hit off his thigh.
But then he turned it around, showing flashes of the potential that made him a top prospect. The Mets’ first pick in the 2010 draft – seventh overall – out of North Carolina retired nine straight after Ross doubled leading off the fourth.
“I did everything I could to figure it out as fast as possible, and I was able to keep the team close,” Harvey said. “Walking people is not what I want to do. I was glad I was able to figure it out.”
Harvey left for a pinch-hitter in the sixth. The 23-year-old right-hander walked five and struck out three.
Uggla’s homer off Edgin ended the left-hander’s scoreless streak at 10 1-3 innings. Freeman hit a bloop single with one out before Uggla sent a drive to left-center for his 13th homer and first since July 8.