Soroka wins 8th straight decision, Braves mash Mets
By George Henry (AP)
ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Soroka knows he doesn’t have to pitch perfectly when the Atlanta Braves keep scoring runs so often.
“Everything’s just hard-hit baseball after hard-hit baseball,” Soroka said. “It’s contagious. It carries out to the mound for all of us.”
Soroka won his eighth straight decision, Ozzie Albies homered and drove in four runs, and the surging Braves beat the New York Mets 12-3 on Monday night.
Nick Markakis hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the fifth inning and Brian McCann reached five times and homered as the NL East-leading Braves improved to 13-3 in June, best in the majors this month.
Atlanta, which scored 15 runs a day earlier against Philadelphia, has plated 90 runs in winning 10 of its last 11 — the best run the offense Atlanta has had over 11 games since 2006.
“Everyone’s having just really good, solid at-bats,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “The takes are good. They’re not missing on pitches and getting good decisions on them. Everybody is just geared up and focused on their at-bats.”
New York continued to struggle on the road, losing for the 12th time in 16 games away from Citi Field and dropping 8½ games behind the Braves.
Soroka (8-1) gave up three runs, six hits and allowed just his third homer in 12 starts this year, a solo shot by Robinson Canó in the sixth. He walked one and struck out two in six innings.
Soroka’s winning streak is the longest in the majors by a pitcher under 22 since Dontrelle Willis won the same number for the 2003 Florida Marlins, but the right-hander has given up eight earned runs over his last two starts, the same total he allowed over his previous eight outings from April 29-June 7. His ERA rose 20 points to 2.12.
Atlanta went up 5-2 in the fifth on Markakis’ opposite-field bloop single to left and Albies’ RBI single.
The Braves led 2-0 in the first. Ronald Acuña Jr., the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year, hit his 17th homer, the 11th of his career to begin a game and the 22nd to begin an inning. Freddie Freeman singled and scored from second on first baseman Pete Alonso’s fielding error.
New York cut the margin in the third when Alonso lined an RBI single to left. The Mets tied it at 2-all in the fifth on pitcher Zack Wheeler’s RBI single to left and made it 5-3 on Canó’s fourth homer.
Wheeler (5-5) allowed five runs — four earned — and 10 hits in six innings.
Reliever Jeurys Familia, whose ERA stands at 16.50 over his last six innings, was charged with three of the four runs that crossed in the seventh, turning a 5-3 deficit into a blowout. Albies lined a two-run single to right to begin the scoring.
“We just stunk,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said. “Again, we weren’t good. We’ve got to recalibrate what we’re doing and we have to do the job better. That’s just plain and simple.”
McCann and Albies homered in the eighth.
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