By CHARLES O’BRIEN Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ Seth Lugo pitched two-hit ball over six innings, Travis d’Arnaud hit a record-setting homer for New York and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 to split a doubleheader Monday night.
D’Arnaud helped New York rebound from a 9-2 loss in the opener with his solo shot in the eighth. It was the 219th homer for the Mets, a franchise season mark. The sparse crowd at Citi Field jeered when the home run apple didn’t rise after d’Arnaud’s homer, then cheered when it finally came out of the bin it’s housed in three batters later.
Lugo (7-5) turned in the best performance of his career, allowing just a pair of singles. Lugo struck out seven, didn’t issue a walk and retired his final 12 batters as New York won for just the third time in 15 games.
Brandon Nimmo matched a career high with three hits in the nightcap, including a single off starter Max Fried (1-1) to lead off the third. Juan Lagares, who had four hits in the doubleheader, hit the next pitch back to the mound, and Fried’s throw went well over the head of first baseman Rio Ruiz for a two-base error. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded to second to score the first run, and d’Arnaud followed with a double to deep center field to score Lagares.
Atlanta mounted rallies in each of the last two innings, finally breaking through against Jeurys Familia in the ninth. Kurt Suzuki singled to begin the rally, and Freddie Freeman reached on a fielding error by Familia. Johan Camargo grounded out to advance the runners, then Jace Peterson singled to left to end the shutout bid.
Pinch-hitter Matt Kemp grounded to first to score Freeman, but Familia rebounded to retire pinch-hitter Tyler Flowers on a grounder to third for his fifth save and second since returning from surgery to remove a blood clot in his right arm.
In the first game, Lucas Sims (3-5) turned in his second strong performance since returning to Atlanta’s rotation, allowing two runs and five hits over a career-high 6 2/3 innings.
“He’s pitching with a lot of confidence,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s pitching like he’s trying to get you out.”
New York’s Chris Flexen (3-5) took the loss after giving up four runs over five innings.
Braves: After leaving his start on Sept. 14 with a cut on the tip of his right middle finger, RHP Mike Foltynewicz is unlikely to make another start this season.
RHP R.A. Dickey (10-10, 4.32 ERA) pitches for Atlanta. He’ll be opposed by RHP Rafael Montero (5-11, 5.30 ERA).
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