DeGrom, Alonso lead Mets to a 10-2 rout of 1st-place Braves
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are one of baseball's best offensive teams.
Jacob deGrom made them look helpless.
The reigning NL Cy Young winner took a shutout into the ninth inning and got plenty of run support from Pete Alonso and his teammates, leading the New York Mets to a much-needed 10-2 rout of the first-place Braves on Tuesday night.
"He's the best pitcher in baseball," Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. "He was still throwing 97, 98 mph in the seventh inning. He had that little something extra tonight, and we caught the brunt of it."
Alonso homered to highlight the first four-hit game of his young career, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil also went deep, and every Mets starter had at least one hit in the 15-hit barrage, which helped ease some of the tension after a 12-3 loss the previous night.
"A win was important," said Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who called a meeting with his slumping team before the game. "I don't care how many runs we scored. If we had won 2-1, it would've been the same to me."
The Braves had scored 90 runs while winning 10 of 11 games to seize the lead in the NL East. But deGrom (4-6) dominated their potent lineup , allowing just five hits, striking out 10 and even helping himself at the plate, leading off the sixth with a double and coming around to score.
"I felt like in the bullpen (before the game), I was throwing pretty much every pitch where I wanted to," deGrom said. "There are times when that happens and you go out and stink. I was able to bring it from there to the game."
Freeman and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back homers off deGrom in the ninth, ending a bid for the second shutout and fourth complete game of his career. Robert Gsellman came on for the beleaguered Mets bullpen to strike out the final two Atlanta hitters.
"I wanted to finish that one," deGrom said. "I made a couple of mistakes, and they hit the ball out of the ballpark."
The Mets knocked out Braves starter Julio Teheran (5-5) with six runs over the first four innings. Alonso's RBI double in the third sparked a four-run outburst that got the Mets rolling toward just their second win in six games. The rookie first baseman finished off Teheran with a two-run shot in the fourth, launching a 426-foot drive over the center-field wall.
Alonso also had a double in the first, a walk in the sixth and an infield single in the seventh to complete his big night. In addition to three RBIs, he scored three times.
Conforto added another long homer in the eighth, driving one toward the Chop House restaurant in right field while Matt Joyce barely moved as the ball sailed over his head. Conforto and Todd Frazier both had two RBIs, while McNeil chipped in with three hits.
Teheran shrugged off his first loss since April 30.
"It feels weird," he said. "It's been a while since I gave up that many runs. But everything was going their way today."
This has been a bounce-back season for Teheran, a former ace who has struggled the past few years. He had gone 3-0 in his previous eight starts, not allowing more than one earned run in any of those games.
This one got away early.
"I don't feel like I had my best stuff," Teheran said, "and they were swinging the bat really good."
The Mets shook up their bullpen before the game, placing Jeurys Familia (7.81 ERA) on the 10-day injured list and optioning Drew Gagnon (7.65) to Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Stephen Nogosek and lefty Daniel Zamora got the call from the minors.
Mets: LHP Justin Wilson was scratched from his rehab appearance at Triple-A Syracuse because of tightness in his elbow. Wilson was 1-1 with 4.82 ERA in 10 appearances for the Mets before he went on the injured list with left elbow soreness. ... Familia was placed on the IL with a bone spur in his pitching shoulder after giving up three runs and recording only one out in Monday's loss.
Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman will head to Atlanta's spring training complex in North Port, Florida to continue his rehab from plantar fasciitis in the right foot. He will work toward returning to the Braves as a starter, though his future may be in the bullpen after Dallas Keuchel joins the Braves rotation, perhaps by this weekend.
Atlanta LHP Max Fried (7-3, 4.11 ERA) will look to snap out of his slump when he faces New York LHP Steven Matz (5-4, 3.93). Fried got off to a brilliant start for the Braves this season, but he's surrendered 17 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings over his last four starts.