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Mets' offense sputters to fifth straight defeat in loss to Braves

Mets' Pete Alonso, right, reacts after striking out

Mets' Pete Alonso, right, reacts after striking out in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. Credit: AP/Brynn Anderson

The Mets suffered their fifth consecutive loss Sunday, falling, 4-0, to the Braves, in another game marked by missed offensive opportunities.

With their season one-sixth over — the equivalent of the end of April in a normal year — they are 3-7, last in the NL East.

“We have to be better,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said from Truist Park in Atlanta. “I don't think there's anyway to sugarcoat that.

“We have expectations that we have not met — we haven't come close to meeting yet — and we want to be a better team than what we've shown these first 10 games. It's a short season and we don't have the luxury of figuring it out over the first couple of months of the year.”

The key numbers: The Mets stranded 13 runners on base — it might have been more if not for a couple of double plays — and were 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The lone knock was Amed Rosario’s infield single, which moved J.D. Davis from second to third.

Jeff McNeil (3-for-5) and Rosario (2-for-4) had good days at the plate. Pete Alonso, 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, did not. He is hitting .175.

The Mets did not make any position players available for an interview after the game.

“It's getting disappointing that it keeps happening when we're getting too big in those situations, after we put the runners in scoring position, which we did repeatedly again today,” manager Luis Rojas said.

Edwin Diaz tossed a scoreless seventh inning, entering the game earlier than normal and with the Mets trailing — the first hint at how Rojas might look to use him after his recent struggles. He walked his first batter, Adam Duvall, drawing a visit from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. Diaz rebounded by striking out Austin Riley looking and getting Adeiny Hechavarria to line out to second for a double play.

In his second major-league game, David Peterson met the exact parameters for a quality start: six innings, three runs (all earned). After finding trouble in his middle innings — including a Johan Camargo homer and a Duvall double — he bounced back to retire his final eight batters, five via strikeout.

In all, he fanned eight and walked one. The one, though, came with the bases loaded in the third inning, putting Atlanta on top. The Braves added a run on Freddie Freeman’s RBI groundout.

Peterson has a 3.86 ERA in the very small sample size of two starts. That is better than Michael Wacha (6.00) and Rick Porcello (13.50).

“He threw a heck of a game for us once again,” Rojas said. “Looking ahead, we’ll see how things unfold obviously. But he’s our fifth starter for right now.”

New York Sports