EditorsNote: Reworded lead; corrects Freeman to five plate appearances; adds Cano also had two hits; other minor edits
Mike Soroka tossed 6 1/3 strong innings to earn the win, and the Atlanta Braves never trailed after fellow rookie Austin Riley launched a two-run homer in the second inning as they defeated the host New York Mets 6-2 on Friday night.
The Braves improved to 19-7 this month, the best record in baseball in that span. The Mets lost their sixth straight and fell to a National League-worst 9-17 in June.
Soroka (9-1) allowed two runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out four as he once again became eligible to qualify for the NL ERA title. The 21-year-old right-hander has a 2.13 ERA — the second lowest in the league behind the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu — in 84 2/3 innings.
Soroka retired the first 10 batters he faced before Pete Alonso homered to close the Braves’ lead to 3-1. The Mets had a chance to tie the score or go ahead in the seventh, when Soroka gave up singles to three of the four batters he faced and was pulled after Tomas Nido’s run-scoring hit pulled New York within 3-2.
Ex-Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak entered and gave up an infield hit to J.D. Davis to load the bases before he struck out Jeff McNeil and retired Alonso on a liner to left.
The Braves tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth when Johan Camargo laced a two-out, bases-clearing double.
Josh Donaldson lofted a sacrifice fly in the third for the Braves to make it 3-0. Freddie Freeman had two singles and two walks in five plate appearances while Riley and Nick Markakis also had two hits apiece.
Alonso, Nido and Robinson Cano finished with two hits for the Mets. The homer was the 28th of the season for Alonso, which tied him with Mark McGwire for the most homers by a rookie prior to July 1.
Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (4-7) took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings.
—Field Level Media