NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Murphy hit a pair of three-run homers, powering the Atlanta Braves to a 9-8 victory over the New York Mets in the opener of a doubleheader Monday after the teams were rained out the previous two days.
Ronald Acuña Jr. launched a 448-foot home run for the Braves into the rarely reached third deck at Citi Field. Acuña scored three times and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Kevin Pillar had a two-run shot and Spencer Strider (4-0) earned the win after allowing four runs in five innings. Atlanta improved to 12-2 on the road.
“I’m just glad we won,” Strider said. “I didn’t really put us in a good position to win — first half of a doubleheader, I can’t go out and get quick outs. Credit to the bullpen and our offense, of course, for hitting the way they always do.”
Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer for the Mets, trimming an early five-run deficit to 6-4. Brett Baty and pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar also went deep.
“In this profession, you’ve got to put the good and bad behind you quickly,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Our guys are a little frustrated after the game because we like our chances with eight runs. But that’s a good offensive team over there.”
New York has dropped six of seven. The Braves have won six straight meetings between the NL East rivals dating to last year and eight of the past nine, including a pivotal three-game sweep in Atlanta near the end of last season that sent them to their fifth straight division title.
The game was a makeup of Sunday’s postponement. The clubs were also postponed by rain Saturday and are scheduled to make up that game Aug. 12 as part of a day-night doubleheader.
The six RBIs were a career high for Murphy, who homered in the first to stake the Braves to an early lead and then again in the seventh after the Mets had pulled within a run. The two-homer game was Murphy’s third as a big leaguer.
“That’s a strong man, I’ll tell you that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Murphy, hitting .268 with eight homers and 22 RBIs after being acquired from Oakland in December. “He’s a threat every time he goes up there.”
Strider struck out eight — snapping his team-record streak of nine straight starts with at least nine strikeouts. He fell two games short of the major league mark held by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
The first five Mets batters reached in the third against Strider, who then retired the final nine he faced.
“He came in after the fourth and was like, ‘I can throw all day,’” Snitker said. “They get over that hump sometimes and get their rhythm. Just kind of shows he’s going to be one of those guys, he’s going to mature right in front of you.”
Francisco Lindor had an RBI single for the Mets in the first and then scored their first run in the seventh, when Alonso dashed home on a throwing error by shortstop Vaughn Grissom.
Jesse Chavez got the final two outs of the inning with the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Nick Anderson threw a perfect eighth and A.J. Minter gave up Escobar’s solo homer with two outs in the ninth before retiring Baty on a line drive to right field for his sixth save.
Mets opener Denyi Reyes (0-1) gave up five runs in one-plus inning and was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse between games. It was his second big league start and first for New York.
Mets: RHP Stephen Nogosek (left elbow bone bruise) was activated from the 15-day injured list and tossed 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief. … Showalter said RHP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow) could return to the rotation next week.
AROUND THE HORN
New York had won 42 straight games when scoring at least seven runs. ... Coming into the day, the Mets had not been swept in their last 24 doubleheaders. They had swept 10 and split 14.
Mets RHP José Butto was added as the 27th player on the roster for the second game and LHP Zach Muckenhirn was selected from Syracuse. RHP Stephen Ridings was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Braves: RHP Charlie Morton (3-2, 2.76 ERA) started the nightcap as Atlanta tried for a three-game sweep of an abbreviated series originally scheduled for four games. The Braves won the opener 4-0 on Friday night in a game called after five innings because of rain.
Mets: RHP Tylor Megill (3-1, 3.96) was on the mound for New York.
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