ATLANTA (AP) — Seth Lugo became the latest member of the Mets to make a successful return, pitching seven impressive innings in his season debut to lead New York over the Atlanta Braves 2-1 Sunday.
Lugo (1-0) came back from right elbow inflammation that sidelined him all season, helping Mets starters post a 0.83 ERA over the last five games. He gave up one run and six hits, striking out seven and walking two. Lugo also doubled off Jaime Garcia (2-5) and scored in the third for a 2-1 lead.
On Saturday, the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Braves. Yoenis Cespedes was activated from the disabled list and hit a grand slam in the opener, then a healthy Steven Matz made his season debut and won the nightcap.
The Mets have won four of five heading into an 18-game stretch against four teams that made the postseason last year.
Closer Addison Reed got his 11th save in 13 chances.
Wilmer Flores, who went 6 for 9 in the doubleheader sweep, put the Mets ahead with a sacrifice fly in the first. Lugo scored on Juan Lagares’ infield single in the third.
Dansby Swanson had a sacrifice fly for Atlanta. The Braves have lost 16 of their last 21 home games against the Mets.
Lugo escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when Matt Adams grounded into a double play. Mets manager Terry Collins successfully challenged that Adams didn’t beat the throw, preventing the tying run from scoring.
Garcia struck out nine in seven innings. He has a 1.49 ERA over his last five starts but is 1-3 over that span.
STRUGGLES AT THE PLATE
The Braves have grounded into 66 double plays, most in the NL. … Adams went 1 for 14 in the series. … Atlanta scored just three runs over the last three games, stranding 23 runners.
STRUGGLES AT THE BAG
The umpiring crew had five calls overturned at first during the four-game series.
Collins said before the game that Cespedes will return to the lineup Monday and Tuesday at home against the Chicago Cubs. Cespedes popped up with the bases loaded as a pinch-hitter on Sunday.
With the return of Lugo, Cespedes and Matz over the last two days, the Mets optioned INF Matt Reynolds, RHP Tyler Pill and INF T.J. Rivera to Triple-A Las Vegas. LHP Sean Gilmartin, designated for assignment to make room for Lugo on the 40-man roster, was claimed off waivers by St. Louis. … Braves LHP Eric O’Flaherty was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. RHP Jason Hursh was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (4-3) allowed 15 runs in losing his last two starts, raising his ERA from 3.23 to 4.75. He is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-5) didn’t allow a run over 14 innings of his last two starts, lowering his ERA from 4.44 to 3.48. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three career starts against Washington.
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