ATLANTA -- As loudly promised, Terry Collins made some changes for Friday's series opener against the Braves at Turner Field.
What? Not the type of changes you had in mind?
Regardless, Wright made his manager look like a genius Friday with his second two-homer game this season and racked up five RBIs as the Mets blasted the Braves, 12-2, in their biggest night of run production ever at Turner Field.
The 12 runs also eclipsed their total production of the previous five games and the Mets also matched a season high with 20 hits, including three by Jose Reyes, whose .334 average remains atop the NL. The fact that it came on the heels of Collins ripping into his team made the manager look great, but felt even better for the players.
"He's good, but he's not that good," Wright said, smiling. "I give him a lot of credit, but I'm not quite ready to give him credit for 20 hits. It's good obviously that we come out and play well after he had his little rant. We try to go in with the mind-set of having each other's backs and Terry's had ours, so it would be nice to not only finish strong for ourselves but finish up strong for him and give him the credit that he probably deserves for holding this team together for the majority of the year."
Just a day earlier, Wright had fumbled his way to a sixth error in six games and eighth in 10. But after drawing ridicule for his glove, Wright earned respect with his bat.
In the first inning, Wright smacked a long-run two-run homer off Derek Lowe that landed about 20 rows deep in the leftfield bleachers. In the fourth, with two on, Wright slugged another off Julio Teheran for his 14th homer this season.
Maybe just getting away from Citi Field was the key. In addition to the errors, Wright had batted .200 (6-for-30) with eight strikeouts during the nine-game homestand. "It's good sometimes just to have a change of scenery," Wright said. "Sometimes it just feels good to walk into a visiting clubhouse, to go out there and have fun playing the game."
Reyes did, as well, with a 3-for-5 performance that included a walk, two runs scored and his first stolen base since coming off the disabled list Aug. 28. As enjoyable as it was to see Reyes look like his former self, it made Collins a little wary, too, given his hamstring issues this season.
"[Saturday] is going to be a telltale sign," Collins said
"I'm a little anxious to see how he feels tomorrow."After Thursday's postgame eruption, when he accused his team of folding up the tent down the stretch, Collins' minor tinkering with the lineup seemed a bit understated. "I thought about a lot of things," Collins said. "But this is one of the things I'm going to do, just to see what happens.
The payoff was immediate. The Mets took a 4-0 lead in the first inning and bounced Lowe with one out in the third. After Wright's homer in the first, the Mets loaded the bases for Ruben Tejada, who added a two-run single.
The manager refused to question his team's effort -- only their execution -- as the Mets prepared to play spoiler against the wild-card leading Braves.
"I hope the message got across," Collins said.
Notes & quotes: Carlos Beltran publicly lobbied the Giants to pursue Jose Reyes -- sort of -- in comments to the San Francisco Chronicle. Beltran said of Reyes: "He's an unbelievable player, a guy who makes a difference on a team, offensively, defensively, on the basepaths." . . . Double-A Binghamton righthander Brandon Moore has received a 50-game suspension after his second violation for a "drug of abuse," according to the commissioner's office.