Braves beat Mets 4-0 for 5th win in row; Cespedes opts out
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
By MATT WINKELJOHN
ATLANTA (AP) Kyle Wright and the Atlanta bullpen combined on a 10-hit shutout and the Braves won their fifth in a row, beating the Mets 4-0 Sunday and blanking a New York lineup that found out late that slugger Yoenis Cespedes had opted out of playing any more this season.
Wright pitched scoreless ball for 3 1/3 innings despite allowing five hits and issuing four walks. Tyler Matzek (1-0), A.J. Minter, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon blanked New York over the final 5 2/3 innings to send the Mets to their fifth consecutive loss.
"They've been really good. We've put a lot on them," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of his bullpen. "It's been all hands on deck. They have been better than expected. Thank goodness because we needed it. Everyone who came out of the bullpen was huge."
The Mets released a statement from general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in the early innings that said Cespedes, 34, wasn't at the ballpark and the team had been unable to contact him. Van Wagenen said after the game the organization was notified by Cespedes' agent during the loss that he had decided to opt out for "for COVID-related reasons."
Atlanta has won five in a row against the Mets overall.
New York had plenty of traffic on the bases, especially against Wright, but he worked around trouble in each of the first three innings.
"I felt like I was never out of control," Wright said. "I got myself in a lot more jams than I wanted but I felt like I was good managing it. Hopefully limit walks next time."
Ronald Acuna Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk in the third from David Peterson (1-1). Freddie Freeman added an RBI grounder.
Johan Camargo hit a solo home run in the fourth.
Peterson went six innings, striking out eight and allowing Atlanta's first three runs.
The Mets traded for speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton, sending right-hander Jordan Humphreys to the Giants. Hamilton has not played this season, although he was in San Francisco's 60-player pool. He was briefly with the Braves last season.
New York also traded right-hander Taylor Bashor to the Pirates for cash considerations.
DON'T MISS YO
The Braves learned about Cespedes' absence early in the game, and Snitker said Atlanta didn't miss the slugger. His seventh-inning home run was the difference in New York's 1-0 win over the Braves in the season opener.
"We heard and got the message he wasn't in the ballpark," Snitker said. "Kind of nice to cross his name off and not worry about him."
Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies was out of the lineup for the second time in three days, again because of a stiff right wrist. Adeiny Hechavarria started in his place.
Mets: Two-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom (0-0, 1.64 ERA) gets the ball for the series finale Monday night. He started the season opener against Atlanta in a 1-0 New York win.
Braves: Mike Soroka (0-0, 1.64 ERA) is looking for his first win. He pitched six innings of four-hit ball in the season opener against the Mets.
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Updated August 2, 2020