DeGrom makes successful return, Mets sweep Braves
ATLANTA (AP) Back on the mound, Jacob deGrom was back in control.
DeGrom made a successful return after tending to his ill infant son and an injury, and the New York Mets kept rolling with a 3-2 win Sunday over the Atlanta Braves for a three-game sweep.
DeGrom (2-0) helped his teammates finish off a 7-2 road trip. The right-hander had been away while healing from a sore right lat muscle and seeing his son recover from a health concern,
''I was a little nervous, but excited to be back,'' deGrom said.
''I kind of went to the curveball a little more than I usually do. I feel like that's my fourth-best pitch,'' he said. ''Looking back, I would have rather challenged them a little more but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.''
DeGrom allowed one run and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out three.
Michael Conforto twice drove in Curtis Granderson for the Mets, on a sacrifice fly in the first and on a ground-rule double for a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
New York did not hit a home run after launching 23 in the previous eight games.
''It was a well-played game on the offensive side, no question about it, but I'd like to get four homers a game,'' manager Terry Collins said.
''Very, very pleased (with deGrom), and it also shows you how hard he worked in the time he wasn't at the hospital,'' he said.
Atlanta lost its fifth straight game with Aaron Blair (0-1) allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in his major league debut.
Blair, who joined the Braves as part of the offseason trade that sent pitcher Shelby Miller to Arizona, said he ran out of gas in the sixth inning as the Mets scored twice for a 3-1 lead.
''At the end of the game I kind of lost fastball command,'' he said after allowing six hits and a pair of walks with a strikeout. ''It kind of hurt me a little bit.''
Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera opened the game with singles and Conforto lofted a foul fly that left fielder Jace Peterson caught with a dive.
Atlanta evened it in the fifth when Peterson led off with a single and scored on Nick Markakis' two-out single, but Conforto was the man on the spot again in the sixth.
The Braves backed Blair by turning inning-ending double plays in the first, second and fourth, but his afternoon ended when Lucas Duda's sacrifice fly capped a two-run sixth for the Mets.
Jeurys Familia gave up a run in the ninth on Jeff Francoeur's RBI single with two outs before retiring Daniel Castro with two on for his fifth save.
Said Collins, ''This was a good win for us, a good series and actually a great road trip for us.''
Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable for the second straight day while nursing a sore leg that Collins said ''could'' linger into Monday night. ... 3B David Wright was given the day off.
ANOTHER JUMP START
When Granderson scored on Conforto's sacrifice fly, it marked the seventh time New York tallied in the first inning on its nine-game road trip. The Mets are 10-3 when scoring first, 8-2 on the road.
UP AND DOWN
To make room on the roster for Blair, the Braves optioned LHP Matt Marksberry to Triple-A Gwinnett one day after calling him up. He recorded two outs in Saturday night's loss to the Mets.
Mets: New York begins a nine-game homestand Monday night with RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 0.90) slated to start against Cincinnati RHP Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 3.09).
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (0-2, 5.64) on Monday will start the first of two home games against the Red Sox. Boston, which will host Atlanta on Wednesday and Thursday, is expected to counter with RHP Rick Porcello (3-0, 4.66).