Mets blowout Braves behind big night from Lucas Duda

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In an offensive eruption the New York Mets handily defeated their division rival the Atlanta Braves 8-3 Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Mets rookie starter Jacob deGrom dazzled in the best start in his short major league career improving his record to 2-5. deGrom tossed seven shutout innings, scattered seven hits, walked no one and tied his career high of 11 strikeouts.

Braves ace and newly named All-Star Julio Teheran took the loss for the Braves dropping to 8-6 on the year. Teheran lasted just 3 1/3 innings, gave up five runs on 11 hits, walked two batters and struck out two.

Mets offense

The Mets offense exploded for 18 hits, the highest hit total since Citi Field opened in 2009. Every Met in the starting lineup, including deGrom, had a hit, and seven of the eight position players had two or more. The win was also the Mets 4,000th in their franchise history. First baseman Lucas Duda was the offensive star of the game, drawing two walks going 3-3 at the plate including two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.

After the Braves failed to score in the top of the first, Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the first by launching a shot off the Pepsi Porch, the overhang in right field, for his 14th home run of the year, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. Second baseman Daniel Murphy struck out swinging. David Wright flied to right for the second out. Lucas Duda followed with a walk. Centerfielder Juan Lagares lined a single to right. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud struck out swinging to end the inning. The Braves did not bring home a run in the top of the second.

Shortstop Ruben Tejada flied to left, leading off the bottom of the second. Jacob deGrom then lined a single to left. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. lined a shot to right but right at Jason Heyward who caught it for the second out. Curtis Granderson blooped a single to right. Daniel Murphy then blasted a double to the gap in left center. Both deGrom and Granderson scored to make it 3-0 New York. David Wright followed by lining a single to right, scoring Murphy increasing the Mets lead to 4-0. Lucas Duda lined a single to right but Lagares struck out swinging to end the inning. Atlanta did not score in the top of the third.

Both Travis d’Arnaud and Ruben Tejada lined a single to left starting the bottom of the third. After pulling back a bunt attempt on the first pitch, Jacob deGrom grounded a ball to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman fielded the ball, threw to second to force Tejada out, and caught the relay throw from second baseman Tommy La Stella to complete the double play. d’Arnaud advanced to third on the play. Eric Young Jr. then singled down the right field line. d’Arnaud scored stretching the Mets lead to 5-0. Curtis Granderson flied out to left to end the inning. Neither team scored for the next two and a half innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Granderson led off by grounding out to second. Daniel Murphy then blasted a ball to dead center. The ball caromed off the wall, and Murphy was safe at second with a double. Braves reliever David Hale, who replaced Julio Teheran with one out in the bottom of the fourth, threw a curveball that catcher Christian Bethacourt failed to block cleanly. The ball got away from Bethancourt and Murphy moved to third on the passed ball. David Wright grounded out to short for out number two. Lucas Duda then lined a shot over the head of B.J. Upton in center for a double. Murphy scored to widen the Mets lead to 6-0. Juan Lagares lined out to right to end the inning. The Braves failed to score in the top of the seventh.

Travis d’Arnaud singled to left leading off the bottom of the seventh. Ruben Tejada followed with a single to center. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch-hit for the stellar deGrom. During the at-bat Braves reliever David Carpenter threw a slider. Christian Bethancourt failed to block it cleanly. Both runners bolted to advance, but Bethancourth grabbed the carom from the backstop and threw to second to get Tejada for the first out. Nieuwenhuis then lined a double down the right field line. d’Arnaud trotted home to make it 7-0 New York. Eric Young Jr. grounded second for out number two, as Nieuwenhuis advanced to third. Curtis Granderson struck out swinging to end the inning.

Mets journeyman reliever Buddy Carlyle, making his first appearance in a month, entered to pitch the top of the eighth. B.J. Upton struck out swinging to start the inning. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons followed with a walk. Freddie Freeman struck out swinging for the second out. Left fielder Justin Upton grounded a ball just past a diving Ruben Tejada at short and into left field.

Carlyle was pulled and in came lefty reliever Dana Eveland to get the final out. Right fielder Jason Heyward grounded a ball up the middle for a base hit. Initially Simmons held up at third against the strong arm of Lagares, but Lagares had not thrown back to the infield. Simmons broke for home; Lagares threw to the plate but not in time to get Simmons, putting the Braves on the board 7-1. Chris Johnson grounded out to third to retire the side.

Both Daniel Murphy and David Wright flied to right, to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Lucas Duda then cued a ball down the left field line and into the corner for a double. Juan Lagares atoned for his mistake in the top half of the inning by grounding a single to right. Duda scored stretching the Mets lead to 8-1. Travis d’Arnaud lined out to second to end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, both Tommy La Stella and Christian Bethancourt singled to center to start the top of the ninth. Backup catcher Ryan Doumit flied out to center for the first out. B.J. Upton grounded a ball towards third. David Wright tried to bare-hand the ball but could not come up with it cleanly and everyone was safe.

Late rally

Eveland was pulled and in came Jeurys Familia to stop the rally. Andrelton Simmons hit a tapper up along the third base line. Travis d’Arnaud fielded the ball and waited to tag La Stella. La Stella gave up on the play, and d’Arnaud stepped on home plate for the force out. Freddie Freeman lined a single right, scoring both Bethancourt and B.J Upton to cut the lead to 8-3 New York. Justin Upton struck out swinging to end the game.

Veteran starter Dillon Gee returns to the rotation after two months on the disabled list. Gee takes the mound against the Braves opposing veteran Ervin Santana.

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Atlanta Braves
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