Dominic Smith eventually brought the Mets down to ground level, but the mojo was short-lived. Seth Lugo’s mistaken decision to lose his balance at first base after fielding Guillermo Heredia’s firecracker in the start of the ninth and Freddie Freeman’s RBI single sent the Mets to a 4-3 loss at Truist Park in their 11th defeat in 17 games.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Freeman hit a shot from Lugo’s foot and just beat Luis Guillorme’s shot on first base, triggering the Braves celebration. Guillorme could have played in the third, but opted for the pitch instead.
“It’s difficult,” Lugo said. “I was trying to scream on [Guillorme], but it’s quite noisy over there… it’s difficult to make that reaction in real time. This is how it goes.
The winning exchange began when Lugo slipped to the ground as he lined up Heredia’s punt and threw from his back at first base, resulting in a throwing error that allowed Heredia to reach the second goal. Lugo put out the next two hitters, but then allowed Ronald Acuna Jr. an intentional walk with two strikeouts and had Ender Inciarte walk to load the bases before Freeman delivered, giving the Braves two of three games and the series victory.
Smith led the start of the ninth with his second home run of the game, a towering blast in right field against Will Smith who shot the Mets even at 3-3. The multi-homer match was the first in Dominic Smith’s career. He also landed a homer in the start of the seventh against Ian Anderson.
“For the offense which is not up to par, I think we are in a good position,” said Smith. “I think after the All-Star break, when the games really matter, you’ll be fine. “
The next stop for the Mets is the Bronx for three games against a shocked Yankees team that could potentially offer some relief. But that will only be if the Mets can start their sticks – they’ve scored three points or less in seven of their last 11 games.
“We are not looking for power,” Rojas said. “You look at the table and you look at the OPS of both teams, there was a lot of difference. I think our guys’ offensive lineup can be there when it comes to power – not just picking everyone to death or walking and going from post to post. The big trades are going to come with some power provided by our hitters. “
The Mets had their best shot at taking the lead in the eighth, when Billy McKinney delivered a single with a hit and Francisco Lindor walked out. But the No. 3 and 4 hitters on the roster, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso, were called out by Chris Martin to preserve the Atlanta lead.
DeGrom gave the Mets the kind of length they were looking for, lasting seven innings and 93 shots, his highest total since April 28. He struck out the last 18 batters he faced and struck out 14 strikes, but there was the three-run issue he surrendered in the first inning.
DeGrom walked into the dugout and slammed his gauntlet in disgust after that first run, in which he allowed more earned runs (three) than he had in any total outing this past. season.
Austin Riley went to the opposite court on a fastball at 99.7 mph and cleared the right field wall for a two-run homerun that gave the Braves a 3-1 lead. The circuit was the first cleared by deGrom in seven starts, dating April 25 against the Rockies. The blast also sent deGrom’s ERA to triple digits (1.03) a neighborhood he hadn’t visited all season. By the end of the night, that number had dropped to 0.95.
Ehire Adrianza, a late addition to the lineup after Acuna was ruled out as a starter, smashed a game-lead triple for the Braves. Ozzie Albies’ RBI single tied 1-1 before Riley delivered his 14th home run of the season. Adrianza’s hit ended a 37-straight batting streak that deGrom called out in the first inning this season.
Conforto’s RBI single in the first gave the Mets a 1-0 lead after Lindor walked in and stole second place. The stolen base was Lindor’s seventh of the season.