Kyle Muller capped five solid innings by getting a double play against slugger Pete Alonso as the Atlanta Braves beat the host New York Mets 2-0 Monday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Muller (2-3) allowed four hits and picked up his second career win. He struck out three, walked two and threw 75 pitches in his second career outing against the Mets.
The 23-year-old left-hander's final pitch came with two on in the fifth after pinch hitter Brandon Drury doubled and Jonathan Villar walked. Following a visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz, Muller ended his outing nicely by throwing a 78 mph curveball to Alonso.
Alonso hit a high chopper to third baseman Austin Riley. Riley made a slight leap to field it, stepped on third for the first out and quickly threw to first to complete the rally killer.
Joc Pederson hit an RBI double in the third inning off Marcus Stroman (7-9) and Orlando Arcia drove in a run in the fourth when the Mets were unable to turn a double play.
Two innings before getting Alonso on a double play, Muller impressively finished the third. With two on, he whiffed Alonso on a curveball and fanned Michael Conforto with his slider.
Tyler Matzek pitched a hitless sixth and Will Smith pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances to complete Atlanta's 12th shutout, which leads the majors. Smith allowed a one-out single to Tomas Nido and escaped by getting pinch hitter James McCann on a double play started by shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Stroman allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out four, walked one and threw 65 pitches five days after pitching eight innings of one-hit ball in Cincinnati.
Atlanta went ahead by getting three straight hits to start the third. Guillermo Heredia led off with a double and Muller singled to left field to put runners at the corners, before Pederson followed with a double down the right field line for a 1-0 lead.
The Braves had runners at the corners again in the fourth when Swanson doubled and Stephen Vogt singled. Arcia hit a hard grounder to Villar but the New York shortstop was slow in fielding the ball and could only get the force play at second as Swanson scored.
The Mets were blanked for the eighth time this season and saw their lead over Atlanta in the NL East trimmed to four games.
--Field Level Media