Scherzer shines as Mets cool Braves 4-1 in series opener | Sports News

By CHARLES ODUM, AP sports journalist

ATLANTA (AP) — Max Scherzer threw seven solid innings, Luis Guillorme homered and drove in two runs, and the New York Mets beat Max Fried and the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Monday night at opener of their NL East showdown.

Pete Alonso also had two RBIs and Scherzer (6-1) allowed just three hits, including Austin Riley’s 24th homer in the seventh. That cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1, but Guillorme answered with his homer against Darren O’Day in the eighth.

Closest All-Star Edwin Díaz, pitching for the third straight day, retired the team in the ninth for his 19th save.

Former Mets second baseman Robinson Canó, obtained by Atlanta for $1 as part of a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on Sunday, had two hits in his debut for the Braves.

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Scherzer walked nine scoreless strikeouts in his second consecutive impressive start after missing nearly seven weeks with an oblique injury. The right-hander went six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, with a season-high 11 strikeouts in a no-decision decision against Cincinnati last Tuesday.

The successful return of the three-time Cy Young Award winner gives New York hope to stand up to defending World Series champions Atlanta.

The Mets led the Braves by 10½ games on June 1, but the lead was reduced to 1½ games early in the series. The Braves were 29-8 and the Mets 19-16 in that span entering Monday night.

In 6 2/3 innings, Canó had Atlanta’s only hit against Scherzer, one past the Guillorme glove at second base with two outs at third.

Riley homered on the left-field wall with two outs in the seventh, cutting New York’s lead to 2-1 and ending Scherzer’s shutout offer. Marcell Ozuna followed with a brace down the left field line, but Scherzer pumped his right fist after pulling Eddie Rosario out to end the inning.

Canó added a single against Adam Ottavino with two outs in the eighth and moved up to third on a Ronald Acuña Jr. double. Ottavino fumbled at Dansby Swanson.

Fried (9-3) allowed two runs on five hits and five walks, tying his career high in five innings. He also walked five batters in a 9-3 win over the Cubs on June 25, 2019.

Despite the walks, Fried hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in nine of his last 10 starts.

New York scored two runs in the third. Brandon Nimmo doubled and scored on Alonso’s double to left field. Alonso scored on Guillorme’s grounder.

Alonso added an RBI pitch in the ninth against Jackson Stephens to lead Nimmo from third, increasing his major league-leading total to 72 RBI.

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction, right scapula) is scheduled to make his third minor league rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday and could be activated shortly after the All-Star break. … All-Star 2B/OF Jeff McNeil has been placed on the paternity list. … RF Travis Jankowski (broken left hand) started after being reinstated from the 10-day injured list. … RF Starling Marte (left groin tightness) was retained for the second game in a row.

Braves: RHP Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) has thrown out the bullpen and looks set to return from the 15-day injured list this week. …D’Adam Duvall has been reinstated from the paternity list. … With the acquisition of Canó, INF Phil Gosselin was slated for assignment and 1B Mike Ford was opted for Triple-A Gwinnett.

RHP power pitcher Spencer Strider (4-2, 2.60 ERA) will look to continue his impressive rookie season for Atlanta when he takes on LHP David Peterson (5-1, 3.48) midway through the series on Tuesday. evening.

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