Monday, April 3, 2017

Syndergaard, Cabrera lead Mets past Braves 6-0 in opener

Noah Syndergaard pitched six sharp innings before leaving with a blister, Asdrubal Cabrera snapped a seventh-inning tie with a single and the New York Mets broke through following a pivotal replay reversal to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 in their season opener Monday.
Syndergaard struck out seven in his first opening day start for New York, the only blemish a blister on the top of his right middle finger that ended his outing.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran throttled the Mets as usual, throwing six scoreless innings before a sellout crowd of 44,384 at Citi Field. But once he was lifted after 96 pitches, New York took advantage of five walks by a shaky Braves bullpen in a six-run bottom of the seventh that lasted 35 minutes.
Curtis Granderson had a sacrifice fly and Lucas Duda busted the game open with a three-run double off ineffective reliever Eric O'Flaherty.
The Mets stopped a six-game home losing streak to Atlanta - the last-place Braves swept their final two series in Queens last year - and improved baseball's best record on opening day to 36-20.
New York, which lost its first eight openers in the 1960s, has won 21 of its past 24 season openers at home.
Rene Rivera led off the seventh with a single against Ian Krol (0-1). One out later, Jose Reyes walked and Cabrera singled to center field for his third hit. Gold Glove winner Ender Inciarte made a strong throw home, and Wilmer Flores initially was called out.
But replays showed catcher Tyler Flowers was in poor position when he took the throw behind the plate, allowing Flores to touch the front corner with his foot before getting tagged.
From there, the Mets stayed patient in the batter's box and opened a comfortable lead.
Hansel Robles (1-0) worked a perfect inning for the win.
Freddie Freeman had three hits for the Braves, including a one-out triple in the fourth. Syndergaard struck out the other three batters in the inning, and pitched out of trouble against the middle of the lineup again in the sixth.
BRINGING SEXY BACK
With fans still filing in, Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon received a standing ovation during pregame introductions as he waved and tipped his cap to the crowd. Big Sexy, who turns 44 in May, won 44 games for the Mets over the past three seasons. He signed a $12.5 million, one-year contract with Atlanta in November. "This guy gave us quality inning after quality inning. He was a force with our young Latin players," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I think he taught `em how to be major league pitchers, how to go about things, how to take the good with the bad. And we're going to miss that. ... Bartolo had a huge effect on this team."
TRAINER'S ROOM
Braves: Injured reliever Mauricio Cabrera, who features a fastball clocked at over 100 mph, is expected to begin throwing soon. "Everything's pointing good now. I mean, it's very positive coming from him," manager Brian Snitker said. "He'll need to build back, but you know, he won't have been off that long." Cabrera is on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to March 30, with a right elbow strain.
Mets: In their comments to reporters, RHP Seth Lugo seemed optimistic about a fairly quick return from the DL, while it appears LHP Steven Matz will be sidelined for some time. Both are out with elbow injuries. ... 3B David Wright (neck surgery) took batting practice with the team on the field. He was in uniform for pregame introductions and was given a warm hand. Wright started the previous 12 season openers at third base.
UP NEXT
Braves: Colon will make his Atlanta debut when he starts the second game of the series Wednesday night against his former teammates. "Some of these guys don't know Major League Baseball without him in it," Snitker said.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom returns to the mound from Sept. 21 surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year is 3-3 with a 1.90 ERA in eight career outings against Atlanta.

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