Mets late comeback bid falls short in 6-5 loss to Braves

Mets Braves
Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson (28) is forced out at home by New York Mets catcher Omar Narváez (2) on an Orlando Arcia ground ball in the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. scored three runs and stole three bases, Reynaldo López threw six scoreless innings in his first home start for Atlanta, and the Braves held off the New York Mets 6-5 on Tuesday night.

The Braves led 6-0 before Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer off Tyler Matzek in the eighth. Atlanta closer Raisel Iglesias gave up two runs in the ninth, including Omar Narváez’s run-scoring double, but earned his second save. Iglesias struck out Alonso with a runner on to end the game.

López (1-0) earned the No. 5 spot in Atlanta’s rotation after signing a $30 million, three-year contract on Nov. 30. The right-hander, primarily a reliever the last two seasons, has a 0.75 ERA through two starts. He had six strikeouts while allowing three hits and three walks against the Mets.

Acuña had two hits, including the first of the Braves’ six straight singles to open a three-run third inning. Acuña stole second and third following a fourth-inning walk.

Acuña led the majors with 73 steals and hit 41 homers in his 2023 NL MVP season. He has four steals this season but has not homered through 10 games.

Mets right-hander Adrian Houser (0-1), who hit only one batter with a pitch in 111 1/3 innings last season with Milwaukee, plunked two Atlanta hitters in the first two innings.

Houser’s first pitch hit Acuña, who stole second, advanced to third on Narváez’s throwing error and scored on Ozzie Albies’ double. Orlando Arcia was hit by a pitch from Houser in the second.

Houser gave up run-scoring hits by Austin Riley, Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna in the third. Houser allowed five runs in five innings.

New York right-hander Dedniel Núñez, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game, gave up one run over two innings in his major league debut.

There was light rain but no delay during the game. The grounds crew worked on the mound and around home plate before the fifth inning.

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