|Chris Bassitt looking in for the sign against Travis Demeritte. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets lost a tough one to the defending World Champion Atlanta Braves, 5-2, on Monday night at Citi Field, as old friend Travis d'Arnaud drove in three runs for Atlanta.
The Mets fell to 16-8, while Atlanta improved to 11-13, in what already feels like a pivotal four-game set - which includes a one-admission doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon starting at 3:00 p.m - in terms of setting the tone in the National League East.
Max Fried got the win for Atlanta to improve to 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA on the season, as he went six innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and no walks, while striking out six.
Chris Bassitt, who sailed through the first five innings before surrendering a 2-1 lead in the sixth, went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk, with eight strikeouts, fell to 3-2 on the season and his ERA ticked up to 2.61.
The biggest news on the day for the Mets came in the morning when they decided to designate second baseman/designted hitter Robinson Cano for assignment with two years and around $40 million left on his contract, and option right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez to Triple-A Syracuse as the roster trimmed down to 26 players from 28, which owed to the shortened spring training. To read about the Mets letting Cano go, click here.
In the game, the Mets jumped out to an early lead in the second inning as Starling Marte manufactured a run. Marte got a one-out double, moved to third on a fly ball to center by Jeff McNeil, and came in to score on a wild pitch.
The Mets doubled their lead in the third when Mark Canha, who has been superb in his first year with the Mets after coming over from Oakland, hit his first homer of the season, to make it 2-0 Mets.
Atlanta got one of those runs back in the fourth when Austin Riley launched a home run to center field, and they took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when d'Arnaud got an RBI double and Adam Duvall got a sacrifice fly.
The Mets had a big chance in the seventh as they loaded the bases against Tyler Matzek with two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Atlanta turned to Collin McHugh, who began his professional career with the Mets, including with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2009, and he struck out Canha to end the inning.
Atlanta added to their lead in the eighth against Mets reliever Trevor May. Matt Olson led off the inning with a walk, and after the next two were retired, Ozzie Albies singled to keep the inning alive for d'Arnaud, who delivered a double to bring them home and make it 5-2.
The Mets turned to Adam Ottavino, who blew Saturday night's game against Philadelphia, for the ninth, and he had a nice bounce-back outing, as he struck out the side.
Kenley Jansen, the longtime Dodger in his first year with the Braves, came on to close it out, and he worked around a Marte single to earn his seventh save of the season.