The Braves were dealt a double blow as the Mets’ Jacob deGrom struck out 10 in six innings to help New York snap a five-game skid with a 7-2 victory on Monday, and as Atlanta top pitcher Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the third inning.
“There’s no sugarcoating this night,” Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. “It stinks. It really does.”
Soroka crumpled to the ground on a seemingly routine play, breaking toward first to cover the bag on a grounder to Freeman’s right.
“When you lose, in my mind, one of the top pitching arms in this entire game for the whole season, it’s pretty tough,” Freeman added.
It was also a tough night physically for the Mets. Robinson Cano had three RBIs before leaving the game himself — one of three New York infielders who went down with injuries.
None of them were nearly as serious as Soroka’s.
Mets manager Luis Rojas said that the balmy weather might have contributed to the injuries to Cano, Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil.
All are day to day.
Wilson Ramos added a two-run homer for the Mets, who avoided a four-game sweep and put an end to Atlanta’s five-game winning streak.
DeGrom (1-0) turned in another sterling effort. The two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner has allowed just four earned runs in 17 innings over his first three starts of the shortened season.
He threw 104 pitches, with his only real problems coming in the fifth inning after being staked to a 7-0 lead.
Former teammate Travis d’Arnaud homered off DeGrom.
“I wasn’t able to throw my off-speed for strikes or where I wanted,” DeGrom said. “I left a couple of balls over the middle — and that’s how they scored a couple of times. I was just frustrated and was having a hard time gripping the ball ... but the fortunate thing is that we got the win.”
Any thought of another duel with Soroka (0-1), like the one they had on opening day, ended in the third inning when the Braves’ young star crumbled to the infield grass after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis.
When Davis grounded the ball toward first, Soroka broke in that direction to cover the bag if necessary — only to go down on his first step off the mound.
The right-hander yelled in pain, but got up and tried to walk a couple of steps before again dropping to his knees.
He could not put any weight on the leg as he was assisted to the clubhouse by trainer and manager Brian Snitker.
“I heard him yell,” Freeman said. “It’s just a terrible injury for somebody so young, so bright — so determined to be great at this game.”
It was a major setback for the Braves, two-time defending NL East champions., who have struggled to put together an effective rotation.
Soroka went 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA last year to finish second in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.
He allowed three hits, walked four and wound up being charged with four earned runs in 2-1/3 innings, his second-shortest outing.
Also on Monday, it was:
‧ Padres 5, Dodgers 4
‧ Rockies 7, Giants 6
‧ Reds 3, Indians 2
‧ Twins 5, Pirates 4
‧ Cubs 2, Royals 0
‧ White sox 6, Brewers 4
‧ Athletics 11, Mariners 1
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