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Rapid Reaction: Mets 10, Braves 2

9/21/2014

ATLANTA -- Jacob deGrom had a stellar showing in what may have been his final opportunity to state his case for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

DeGrom struck out the first four Atlanta Braves batters he faced, was perfect through four innings and allowed one earned run in six innings as the Mets won, 10-2, Sunday at Turner Field.

ROOKIES WHO DELIVERED

The top rookie ERAs in franchise history among pitchers who logged at least 140 innings.

With their first three-game sweep in Atlanta in seven years, the Mets (76-80) moved within a half-game of the freefalling Braves (76-79) for second place in the NL East.

By a 10-9 margin, the Amazin’s won their first season series from the Braves since 2006.

DeGrom has now logged 178 2/3 innings this season between the majors and minors. That’s already 31 innings over last season’s total. And Mets brass seemed to hint that Rafael Montero could take deGrom’s final rotation turn.

If deGrom’s rookie season is complete, he finished at 9-6 with a 2.63 ERA in 22 starts. It would be the fourth-best ERA in franchise history for a rookie who logged at least 140 innings, trailing only Jerry Koosman (2.08 ERA in 1968), Jon Matlack (2.32, 1972) and Dwight Gooden (2.60, 1984). Matlack and Gooden earned Rookie of the Year honors, while Koosman finished second, narrowly behind Johnny Bench.

DeGrom’s line Sunday: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. He threw 100 pitches.

It marked deGrom’s fourth career double-digit strikeout performance.

In his first outing since matching a modern-day MLB record by opening a game with eight consecutive strikeouts against the Miami Marlins, deGrom this time opened his start with four straight Ks. He was perfect until Justin Upton's leadoff single in the fifth. The Braves eventually scored two runs in that frame to pull within 5-2. The latter run came on a four-pitch walk to Emilio Bonifacio with the bases loaded and two outs. That run was unearned because Ruben Tejada had committed a fielding error earlier in the frame.

DeGrom now has produced a 1.79 ERA in 13 starts since July 8. That is the third-best ERA in the majors during that span, trailing only the Rays’ Alex Cobb (1.61) and Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1.75).

DeGrom also contributed a successful suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth on Sunday that plated Anthony Recker.

Atlanta dropped to an MLB-worst 4-14 in September.

Starter Ervin Santana allowed five runs in five innings, including a sacrifice fly and solo homer by Tejada. Anthony Recker finished 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs.

What’s next: The Mets spend a day off in D.C., then face the Washington Nationals beginning Tuesday. Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02 ERA) faces right-hander Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85) in the series opener.