Major League Baseball
Ohtani Part 2? Braves' Nicky Lopez shines with bat, arm in 21-3 rout of Mets
Major League Baseball

Ohtani Part 2? Braves' Nicky Lopez shines with bat, arm in 21-3 rout of Mets

Updated Aug. 12, 2023 5:40 p.m. ET

Move over Shohei Ohtani, there is a new dual-threat talent in MLB. OK, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but Nicky Lopez did attempt his best Ohtani imitation in his first start for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Lopez, who was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Royals on July 30, not only had four hits and five RBIs as the Braves pounded the New York Mets 21-3 in the opening game of a doubleheader, but he also pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Lopez faced four batters in his hitless inning, walking one and striking out none. He threw eight of his 12 pitches for strikes. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound infielder has pitched once before in his career, surrendering two solo homers in one inning of a 13-3 loss to the Dodgers last August.

After Saturday's outing, his career ERA dropped from 18.00 to 9.00.


Lopez wasn't the only Brave to have a big day. 

Ozzie Albies homered and drove in six runs as Atlanta went deep six times on the way to its fourth win in five games, running its major league-leading total to 224 homers. Matt Olson went deep twice in his seventh multi-homer game of the season and No. 20 for his career. Sean Murphy and Austin Riley also homered for the NL East leaders.

Riley hit a two-run homer and Lopez added a three-run shot during an eight-run ninth inning against Mets infielder Danny Mendick.

Allan Winans (1-0), who was drafted by the Mets in 2018 before the Braves selected him in the minor-league portion of the 2021 Rule 5 draft, got the win with seven scoreless innings.

New York loaded the bases in the first via two walks and a hit batter before Winans escaped the jam by striking Abraham Almonte.

The Mets avoided being shut out for the second straight game and 13th time this season when Daniel Vogelbach hit a three-run homer in the eighth.

After his big performance in the opener of the doubleheader, Lopez was given a break for the nightcap.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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