ATLANTA (AP) — Jacob deGrom struck out a season-high 10 in six innings and the New York Mets snapped a five-game skid Monday night with a 7-2 victory over the Braves that was overshadowed by a season-ending injury to Atlanta ace Mike Soroka.
Soroka tore his Achilles tendon in the third inning as he took a step toward first to cover the bag — a huge blow to the two-time defending NL East champions.
“There's no sugarcoating this night,” Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. “It stinks. It really does.”
It was also a tough night physically for the Mets. Robinson Canó had three RBIs before leaving the game himself — one of three New York infielders who went down with injuries.
Wilson Ramos added a two-run homer for the Mets, who avoided a four-game sweep and ended Atlanta's five-game winning streak.
DeGrom (1-0) turned in another sterling effort. The two-time 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.
But any thought of another duel with Soroka (0-1), like the one they had on opening day, ended in the third 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 baseman Freddie Freeman, 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 obvious pain, got up and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before again dropping to his knees. He couldn't put any weight on the leg as he was assisted to the clubhouse by a 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 a Braves team that's struggled to put together an effective rotation this season.
Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, went 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in 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, the second-shortest outing of his career.
The Mets had injury concerns of their own, though none were as serious as Soroka's. Jeff McNeil was scratched just before the first pitch, and Canó left the game a couple of innings after shortstop Amed Rosario hobbled off the field.
Travis d'Arnaud homered off deGrom in the fifth.
Mets: Rosario (left quad tightness) exited after grounding out to end the third. Rosario did not run hard out of the box and walked back to the dugout with a trainer. ... Canó's injury was diagnosed as left groin tightness. ... McNeil didn't even make it to the first pitch. He was scratched shortly before game time after experiencing tightness in his back while working in the batting cage.
Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was back in the lineup after missing two of the previous three games with a sore right wrist. Albies said he first felt the injury about two weeks ago. “I just had to rest it,” he said. “But it's feeling better now.” ... LHP Will Smith continues to bounce back after a bout with the coronavirus. The reliever threw about 25 pitches in an indoor cage before the game, moving a step closer to being activated from the injured list.
Mets: Head to Washington to begin a two-game series Tuesday against the Nationals. LHP Steven Matz (0-1, 3.18 ERA) will go against LHP Patrick Corbin (0-0, 1.42).
Braves: LHP Max Fried (1-0, 2.31 ERA) makes his third start of the season as Atlanta begins a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Truist Park. RHP Matt Shoemaker (0-0, 1.50) gets the nod for Toronto.