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Matz deals in season debut as Mets cruise past Braves in game two of doubleheader

Steven Matz’s seven innings of one-run ball, combined with home runs from Jay Bruce and J.T. Rivera, helped lead New York to an 8-1 victory

MLB: Game 2-New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

New York’s left-hander Steven Matz shut down Atlanta’s lineup in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader as the Mets handed the Braves an 8-1 loss.

Matz, who made his season debut after starting the year out on the disabled list with elbow discomfort, was dominant in his first start in the major leagues since August 14, 2016. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out two and walking one over 7 innings.

Atlanta’s Matt Wisler made a 2017 debut of his own as he made his first major league start of the season. Wisler’s outing wasn’t as stellar as the likes of Matz or Newcomb earlier today, but he finished with a line of 6 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. Not a terrible outing by any means, but his line becomes even more respectable when you take into account that three of the four runs he gave up came on one swing of the bat.

After getting Travis d’Arnaud to strikeout and Matz to line out to begin the fifth inning, Wisler issued a two-out walk to Michael Conforto and gave up a single to Jose Reyes. In the ensuing at-bat, Jay Bruce hit a three-run home run to right field to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.

The home run was just the second Wisler had given up in seven outings this season, the first being a grand slam to Bruce in Atlanta’s 9-7 win against New York on May 2.

Wilmer Flores led off the top of of the sixth with a triple and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly from d’Arnaud, extending New York’s advantage to 4-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, Dansby Swanson connected on a pitch and drove it to deep left field for a two-out double. Johan Camargo followed with a single to center, driving in Swanson to cut Atlanta’s deficit to 4-1.

The Mets managed to put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth as Flores led the inning off with a double to right and later scored on a T.J. Rivera two-run home run.

Adding insult to injury, Eric O’Flaherty gave up back-to-back singles to Bruce and Neil Walker and later allowed Flores to reach on an infield single to load the bases with two outs. Juan Lagares followed immediately with a two-run double to left, giving the Mets a commanding 8-1 lead.

The loss drops the Braves to 27-34 on the season. They are now tied for third place with the Miami Marlins, a 12 game behind the Mets (27-33) and 11 games behind the Washington Nationals (38-23).

Jaime Garcia will be on the mound for Atlanta in the finale of the four-game series with the Mets tomorrow as he faces off against Seth Lugo at 1:35 p.m. ET.

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