The rookie Mike Soroka outpitched Jacob deGrom, a Cy Young Award winner, and the visiting Atlanta Braves got a two-run homer from Austin Riley, a fellow youngster, in a 6-2 victory Friday night over the plummeting Mets.
Pete Alonso hit his 28th home run for the Mets, who lost their sixth straight and fell a season-worst nine games under .500 at 37-46. The Mets returned home after blowing multiple-run leads in five consecutive defeats on a dreadful 3-8 trip, but they fared no better while getting booed by their own fans at Citi Field.
Johan Camargo hit a three-run double off reliever Robert Gsellman to make it 6-2 in the eighth inning, the latest flop for a failing Mets bullpen.
The 21-year-old Soroka (9-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in six and a third innings to win his ninth decision in a row after dropping his season debut. He struck out four, walked none and showed no ill effects after exiting his previous start early because he was hit on the forearm by a pitch.
The Mets shaved the deficit to 3-2 on a run-scoring single by Tomas Nido that chased Soroka, who made another strong case to be included on the National League All-Star team when pitchers and reserves are revealed Sunday. The Mets loaded the bases with one out, but Anthony Swarzak, traded by the Mets last off-season, struck out Jeff McNeil and retired Alonso on a line drive to left field to preserve the lead.
Riley, another impressive rookie, hit his 13th home run in the second after Nick Markakis doubled off deGrom (4-7), who gave up three runs and six hits over six innings.
Josh Donaldson had a sacrifice fly in the third.
In a pregame ceremony on Saturday, the Mets will commemorate the 50th anniversary of their 1969 World Series championship, with about 15 members of that team expected back. Jerry Koosman, Cleon Jones and Jerry Grote are among the former players planning to be on hand a little earlier when the Miracle Mets receive the key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It’s all part of a big weekend celebration that includes a re-enactment of the ’69 World Series parade on Saturday, complete with classic cars. There were replica jersey, pennant and ring giveaways scheduled — even orange 1969 world championship pennants painted in foul territory, plus a 1969 Shea Stadium font on the Citi Field scoreboard on Friday night. The day before, the club announced plans for a Tom Seaver statue outside the ballpark, and the stadium address was officially changed to 41 Seaver Way in honor of the Hall of Fame pitcher’s uniform number.
Mets reliever Jeurys Familia (shoulder) tossed one and a third hitless innings with two strikeouts in a rehabilitation appearance with Class A Brooklyn. He threw 10 of 13 pitches for strikes.
The Mets signed Matt Allan, a third-round draft pick who received a $2.5 million bonus. Allan, an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher from Seminole High School in Florida, was rated as a first-round talent but lasted until the 89th overall selection. To save enough money from their draft-pool allotment to sign him, the Mets chose seven consecutive college seniors after grabbing Allen.
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