DeGrom throws seven scoreless, Mets offense comes to life in win over Braves

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Jacob deGrom smiles as he walks off with catcher Travis d’Arnaud after finishing up in the seventh, allowing no runs.

The question Monday was how Jacob deGrom would respond to facing the Braves in back-to-back starts, the first time in his short major-league career he would have to see the same lineup within a week.

Tuesday night it was clear that question should have been the other way around.

The rookie righthander bounced back to shut out the Braves for seven innings for an 8-3 win at Citi Field Tuesday night.

The Mets (41-49) won their third straight and their fifth in their last 10 games and their 4,000th in franchise history. The Braves (49-41) have lost three straight after a season-long nine-game winning streak.

Making his second start against the Braves in seven days, deGrom held them scoreless on seven hits through seven innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 11, tying a career high.

He extended his streak of not allowing a home run 38 2/3 innings, dating back to June 5, and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his first 11 major league starts.

Despite an impressive beginning to his career, Tuesday was just the second career win for deGrom.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy scores under the tag of Atlanta catcher Christian Bethancourt in the second inning.

“This kids pitched very well out here,” Terry Collins said. “I know what his record is, it doesn’t show it, but I like the way he goes about things, he really competes, really studies it.

“He wants to get better,” the Mets manager said.

In less than six days, deGrom showed growth against a tough Braves lineup.

Last week in Atlanta, deGrom took yet another tough loss. He allowed three earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out eight in that 3-1 loss to the Braves.

“The main thing last time was falling behind in that first inning and walking two guys,” deGrom said of learning from that loss.

Tuesday the 26-year-old battled the Braves.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Mets starter Jacob deGrom watches David Wright make an inning-ending catch on Braves’ Jason Heyward with two men on in the sixth inning.

He gave up hits to the lead-off hitter in the first and second inning. Jason Heyward led off the second with a single and stole second and third. DeGrom stranded him there by striking out three straight batters. In the sixth he gave up back-to-back two-out singles to Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton, but got a help on David Wright’s great grab of Heyward’s line drive to get out of the inning.

It was a striking bounce back from last week and had some observers interested in seeing how deGrom would respond.

While he had already experienced facing a team twice this season — he started against the Pirates May 26 and June 27 — Tuesday night was the first time that he had to face the same lineup in back-to-back starts.

It is a challenge for a young pitcher to recognize when and how hitters are beginning to adjust to him, former Mets pitcher and SNY analyst Ron Darling said Monday.

“Recognizing that is going to happen, you don’t know when it is going to happen, sometimes they won’t make adjustments,” Darling said. “A team like Atlanta helps, because they have a philosophy for hitting and sometimes they won’t make adjustments,

“I think it’s important for him to learn, he’s got to go into the game with a certain game plan, but learn to have the ability to chuck it if you have too.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Towels waving in the dugout as Mets score again in the seventh.

DeGrom said Monday he would make the Braves force him to adjust.

“If they adjust, you make an adjustment too. I think as long as you locate and keep the ball down you will be all right,” deGrom said.

The Braves scored their run in the top of the eighth off on Jason Heyward’s single off Dana Eveland. They scored two with two outs in the ninth on Freeman’s single off Jeurys Famila.

Curtis Granderson homered in the first. He also singled in the second as the Mets put up three runs on Julio Teheran. Granderson and deGrom, who had singled hitting in the eighth position, scored on Daniel Murphy double. Murphy scored on Wright’s single.

When Eric Young, Jr. singled in Travis d’Arnaud in the third, every single Met in the lineup had a hit off Teheran, who had held the Mets to one run on four hits in seven innings last week.

The Mets chased him after just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed five earned runs on a season-high 11 hits. He walked two and struck out two. Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis each drove in runs with RBI doubles off the Braves bullpen and Juan Lagares singled in a run off them in the eighth.

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