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Sports News

Mets clip Braves as Cespedes homers in return

Yoenis Cespedes, appearing in his first game in 734 days, hit a home run in the seventh inning Friday afternoon to snap a scoreless tie and lift the host New York Mets to a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves in the season opener for both teams.

Jul 24, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after defeating the Atlanta Braves during an opening day game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets improved their Opening Day record to 39-20, good for a .661 winning percentage that is the best in baseball. The Braves fell to 24-31 in Opening Day games since moving to Atlanta in 1966.

A moment of silence was held before the game for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cespedes, who hadn’t played since July 20, 2018, due to two heel surgeries and a broken right ankle, homered deep into the left field seats on the second pitch he saw from Chris Martin.

It was the first home run and RBI by a designated hitter while playing in an NL park. It also gave Cespedes a homer in each of his last three games dating back to May 13, 2018.

Seth Lugo (1-0), who threw two one-hit innings in relief of starter Jacob deGrom, earned the win. Justin Wilson threw a one-hit eighth, and Edwin Diaz worked around a one-out walk to Freddie Freeman in the ninth to earn the save.

deGrom and Braves starter Mike Soroka were sharp in scoreless debuts.

deGrom, the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner, allowed one hit -- an infield single by Ronald Acuna Jr. in the third -- and one walk while striking out eight over five innings. He has thrown 28 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to last September. The no-decision marked the 12th time deGrom has thrown at least five innings allowed no runs and not earned a win.

Soroka, a 22-year-old who became the youngest Opening Day starter for the Braves since 1878, allowed four hits and no walks while striking out three over six innings. He benefited from a pair of run-saving plays by center fielder Ender Inciarte, who robbed J.D. Davis at the wall in the fifth and ran down a potential RBI double by Jeff McNeil in the sixth.

-Field Level Media

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