When half of the Braves rotation went down to Tommy John surgery this spring, Atlanta rushed to sign free agent pitcher Ervin Santana. He made his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets, and so far it looks like a very good signing. He threw eight scoreless innings as the Braves held on to beat the Mets despite a furious ninth inning rally.
Jason Heyward led off the bottom of the first with a home run against Zack Wheeler to give the Braves an early lead. Also in the inning, Juan Lagares added to his reputation with a sensational catch to rob Freddie Freeman of an extra base hit.
The score stayed that way until the fifth when Wheeler imploded. Evan Gattis led off with a double. With one out Santana singled to put runners on first and third. Heyward singled to score Gattis and when Andrelton Simmons followed with a single of his own, the bases were loaded. Freeman singled to plate two and give the Braves a 4-0 lead.
Wheeler got out of the inning without further damage but he was done for the night. Five inning, four runs and eight hits. On the bright side, he struck out six batters and did not issue any walks.
Ervin Santana baffled Mets hitters all night, allowing just three hits and not walking anyone in his eight innings. He threw just 88 pitches, but Braves manager Fredie Gonzalez felt he had enough.
The Mets took advantage of that decision. They got a walk and a single against reliever Jordan Walden. But all that did was bring Craig Kimbrel into the game with one out. He shockingly walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Not shockingly, Lucas Duda struck out for the second out. Lagares just got a grounder through the infield for a two-run single to cut the Braves lead to 4-2. With runners on first and third d’Arnaud also singled to make it a 4-3 game. Up stepped Ruben Tejada with the tying run just 90 feet away. However, Kimbrel struck out Tejada to end the game.
Mets lose 4-3.