Naquin’s two homers, Diaz’s two-inning save lift Mets

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, right, watches from the dugout during the first inning of...
Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, right, watches from the dugout during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)(Associated Press)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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NEW YORK (AP) — Deadline acquisition Tyler Naquin homered twice in his home debut, Edwin Diaz locked down his first two-inning save as a pro and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 Thursday night to open a pivotal five-game series between the NL East rivals.

Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers in the third for the Mets, who extended their lead over the Braves to 4 1/2 games. Alonso, who began the scoring with a single in the first, finished with three RBIs.

Naquin, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds last Friday, hit solo shots in the second and sixth off Kyle Wright. He is the first player in Mets history to homer twice in his first home game for the team.

It was the fifth career two-homer game for Naquin and his first since he went deep twice for the Reds against the Miami Marlins on Aug. 22, 2021.

Carlos Carrasco (12-4) extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 23 1/3 innings before Michael Harris II laced a two-out, RBI single and Ronald Acuña Jr. followed with a two-run homer in the fifth. Carrasco allowed three runs on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings.

Harris had another RBI single in the seventh to bring up Acuña as the potential tying run, but Adam Ottavino struck out the 2018 Rookie of the Year.

Diaz, the Mets’ dominant closer, entered to start the eighth and needed just 11 pitches to retire Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley — the Braves’ 2-3-4 hitters — via a groundout and a pair of strikeouts.

Eddie Rosario led off the ninth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch but was stranded there. Diaz fell behind Orlando Arcia 3-0 before getting him to hit a comebacker on a check swing. Diaz jogged to the bag himself to record the final out of his 24th save.

Vogelbach had two hits. Francisco Lindor’s 10-game hitting streak ended after he went 0 for 2 with two walks.

Wright (13-5) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings. The four homers allowed were a career high for the right-hander.

JAMES HOPES HE MCCANN HELP

James McCann was activated from the injured list prior to the game and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts after missing more than three weeks with a strained left oblique.

McCann acknowledged he’d heard the rumors the Mets — whose catchers entered Thursday with three homers and a .523 OPS — might upgrade at the position prior to the trade deadline and said he was looking forward to contributing after two difficult seasons in New York.

The 32-year-old is hitting .222 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs in 152 games for the Mets.

“It’s one of those things you control what you can control,” McCann said. “Obviously, the faith that they’ve put in us means a lot. But their expectations for me are never going to be as high as my expectations for me. I know what I can contribute to this team, both offensively and defensively.”

NO “I” IN IGLESIAS

The Braves officially added Raisel Iglesias to their active roster Thursday, two days after they acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels. Iglesias is one of just three pitchers with three 30-save seasons since 2018, along with the New York Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman and his new teammate, Braves closer Kenley Jansen.

The 32-year-old said he was happy to assume as setup role for the first time since 2016, when he was with the Cincinnati Reds.

“It’s a privilege to share that bullpen ... with Kenley and all these guys,” Iglesias said through an interpreter. “I’m looking forward to pitching in front of Kenley, if that’s what it calls for, and setting him up for him to have success and for him to get the saves if that’s what the situation calls for.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies (broken left foot) played catch Wednesday. ... RHP Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery) threw in back-to-back games for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in August 2020. ... RHP Mike Soroka (right Achilles tendon) could begin throwing simulated games soon. Soroka hasn’t pitched since Aug. 3, 2020 due to twice tearing his right Achilles tendon.

Mets: 1B/DH Dominic Smith (right ankle) went 0 for 1 with two walks as he began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse. ... C Patrick Mazeika was optioned to Syracuse to make room for McCann.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Ian Anderson (9-6, 4.99 ERA) allowed one hit over six scoreless innings in earning a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday but had a 6.27 ERA over his previous 10 starts.

Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (9-2, 2.79 ERA) is looking to reach double figures in wins for the second time in his career and the first time since 2015.

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