Mets righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka had not pitched in consecutive games since the 2004 Japan Series.
But in Sunday's 4-3, 14-inning win over the Braves, he proved he was up to the task, tossing three scoreless innings in relief to save the Mets from burning the bullpen.
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Matsuzaka, 33, had made only one relief appearance in the major leagues before this weekend, but after a one-inning stint Saturday, he threw three hitless innings Sunday. After taking over in the 11th, he struck out five and walked only one.
"I was mentally prepared from the beginning," he said through a translator.
Manager Terry Collins said working consecutive days would be "no big deal" for Matsuzaka because he had done so in the past. He gave him warning that it would be a possibility.
Still, the learning curve could be steep for Matsuzaka, who has been a starter his entire career.
"This is my role for the time being," Matsuzaka said. "So I just need to go out and pitch well."
Abreu expected back today
Bobby Abreu will complete his comeback to the big leagues Monday, when he's expected to join the Mets. Abreu, 40, has not appeared in the majors since the 2012 season with the Dodgers.
Abreu will give the Mets a veteran bat off the bench. He was hitting .395 with a homer and nine RBIs in 15 games with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Abreu started his comeback bid in camp with the Phillies but parted ways when he didn't make the team out of spring training. The Mets signed him to a minor-league deal.
The Mets (9-9) have led in 16 of 18 games . . . David Wright's four-hit game was the 18th of his career . . . Lucas Duda recorded the third steal of his career and first since 2012.