NEW YORK (AP)Austin Riley homered, Max Fried won his third straight outing and the Atlanta Braves cooled off the New York Mets with a 5-2 victory Monday night in the first of 19 meetings between the NL East rivals this season.
Travis d’Arnaud had three hits and three RBIs against his former team. Fried (3-2) settled in after a rocky start, outpitching Chris Bassitt as the defending World Series champions took the opener of a four-game series with only their second comeback win of the year.
Mark Canha hit his first home run for the division-leading Mets (16-8), who played without manager Buck Showalter. He was suspended for one game about 20 minutes before the first pitch after Major League Baseball determined New York reliever Yoan Lopez intentionally threw at Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber the previous night.
Lopez, optioned to Triple-A Syracuse following Sunday’s victory, received a three-game ban that starts whenever he returns to the active big league roster – unless he appeals.
On a misty, 53-degree night at Citi Field, Riley got the Braves (11-13) started in the sixth inning with a leadoff single. One out later, Ozzie Albies grounded a single through the open left side of an overshifted infield and d’Arnaud flared an 0-2 slider from Bassitt into shallow right field for a tying double.
Adam Duvall’s sacrifice fly gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead, and d’Arnaud added a two-run double off struggling reliever Trevor May in the eighth.
Collin McHugh entered with the bases loaded in the seventh and struck out Canha to end the inning. A.J. Minter worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Kenley Jansen got three outs to remain perfect in seven save chances with his new team.
Fried went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits. The left-hander struck out six and walked none.
Bassitt (3-2) permitted three runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
Starling Marte doubled in the second and scored on a wild pitch by Fried. Canha connected in the third to make it 2-0.
After that, Fried retired 11 of his final 12 batters – striking out five. The only one to reach safely was Jeff McNeil on a bunt single.
Riley launched his seventh home run of the season leading off the fourth.
In the seventh, Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. made a bid for his first extra-base hit since returning last week from knee surgery last summer for a torn knee ligament. But center fielder Brandon Nimmo made a leaping grab at the 408-foot sign to end the inning.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said he wasn’t worried about Acuna playing right field on the potentially slick surface after it rained much of the day in New York. Acuna will likely play one game during Tuesday’s doubleheader, Snitker said.
Teams were required to pare down active rosters from 28 players to 26 on Monday. Atlanta optioned LHP Kyle Muller and RHP William Woods to Triple-A Gwinnett following Sunday’s loss at Texas. New York optioned Lopez to Triple-A Syracuse and designated slumping DH/2B Robinson Cano for assignment.
The teams play a single-admission doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Charlie Morton (1-2, 7.00 ERA) will start the opener for Atlanta, with RHP Kyle Wright (3-0, 1.13) going in the nightcap. RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.09) and LHP David Peterson will pitch for the Mets, although Showalter would not reveal the order before Monday’s game.
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