Mets manager Terry Collins offered one specific piece of advice to his starting pitcher Carlos Torres minutes before he took the mound opposite the Braves Tuesday night: keep the ball away from Andrelton Simmons.

Torres could not. Simmons, the Braves’ leadoff hitter, whacked Torres’s second pitch, an 87 mph changeup over the heart of the plate, for a home run over the left-field wall.

The mishap, Collins and Torres would later explain, was evidence of Torres’s 10 days of rest and a first glimpse at Torres living dangerously throughout the outing. But it was the only costly mistake Torres would commit in the Mets’ 4-1 win in front of an announced crowd of 24,355.

“It was obvious that he was kind of getting used to be out there again,” Collins said. “But when he had to make pitches, he made pitches.”

The quality start was the continuation of Torres’s unforeseen success since he joined the Mets from Triple-A Las Vegas five weeks ago. He was originally promoted as starting rotation insurance, morphed into the bullpen’s reliable – and versatile – piece, and is now serving as an effective emergency starter.

In his two starts, Torres has allowed two runs over 11 innings. Since debuting with the team out of the bullpen on June 16, he has given up three runs and struck out 26 to four walks over 28 1/3 innings. The Mets are 19-13 over that span.

“I haven’t really thought about it to tell you the truth,” Torres said. “I’m just literally trying to find what I can do to help this team. As of right now it’s starting.”

Tonight, Torres threw 96 pitches, one beyond the 95-pitch threshold Collins had envisioned. He danced around seven hits and two walks. He accumulated six strikeouts to tie his career high and earned his first major league win since last season when he compiled five with the Rockies.