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Jacob deGrom returns, helps Mets sweep Braves at Turner Field

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, center,

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, center, comes into the dugout after being relieved during the sixth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Atlanta. Photo Credit: AP / John Amis

ATLANTA — A lot had happened in the life of Jacob deGrom since he last stepped on a major-league mound April 8.

A lat muscle strain. The birth of his first child, a son named Jaxon. A health scare with Jaxon that had a happy ending, with the infant home and doing just fine.

One thing has remained the same: deGrom is as effective as ever. He allowed one run in 5 2⁄3 innings and Michael Conforto drove in a pair of runs Sunday as the Mets beat the Braves, 3-2, to sweep the weekend series and complete a 7-2 road trip.

“This was a good win for us, a good series, and actually a great road trip for us,” manager Terry Collins said.

DeGrom (2-0, 1.54 ERA) said the highlight of the day was a postgame text he got from his wife, Stacey.

“Stacey actually sent me a picture of him watching the game,” he said. “She had him up for a little bit watching it. So it meant a lot. In the last week or so, there were some ups and downs. To get back out here and get that win, it was exciting.”

DeGrom nearly duplicated his outing from the Mets’ home opener against the Phillies, when he gave up one run in six innings. On Sunday, he needed one more out to get there, but Collins decided to take him out after a two-out single in the sixth.

DeGrom, who said he felt physically fine, threw 82 pitches. He allowed eight hits — all singles — did not walk a batter and struck out three.

“We made a commitment before the game that 85 was going to be tops today,” Collins said. “He wanted that last guy, but after what he’s gone through, he gave us plenty.”

The Mets won their seventh in a row at Turner Field, which used to be a house of horrors for them. Of course, the Braves used to be a good team, and now they are 4-14 in their final season at The Ted.

While Mets fans were excited to see deGrom’s return, Braves fans at least got to see top prospect Aaron Blair make his major-league debut. Blair was charged with three runs in 5 1⁄3 innings against a Mets lineup that was without the injured Yoenis Cespedes and the resting David Wright and did not include its usual (of late) home run barrage.

“It was a good, well-played game on the offensive side with the situational hitting,” Collins said. “No question about it. But I’d like to hit four homers a game.”

The Mets took a 1-0 lead three batters into the game on singles by Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera and a sacrifice fly to left by Conforto.

The Braves tied the score in the fifth on Nick Markakis’ two-out RBI single. Daniel Castro followed with his third hit, a single off deGrom’s glove, but deGrom got Freddie Freeman on a first-pitch comebacker to end the inning.

The Mets scored a pair in the sixth to retake the lead. Granderson walked with one out and moved to third on a single to right by Cabrera. Conforto followed with a ground- rule double that one-hopped over the rightfield fence to make it 2-1 and ended Blair’s afternoon. Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly gave deGrom a two-run cushion.

Jeff Francoeur’s two-out RBI single off Jeurys Familia in the ninth made it 3-2. After an infield hit by Markakis put the tying run at second, Familia got Castro to ground to second for his fifth save.

April Powers

Neil Walker, who has seven home runs already this month, doesn’t usually discover his home run stroke this early in the season. His previous April power output:

Year HRs

2015 1

2014 6

2013 1

2012 0

2011 3

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