By CHARLES O’BRIEN Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ Rookie right-hander Lucas Sims had his best performance in the majors, fellow first-year player Ozzie Albies homered and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 9-2 in the first game of a doubleheader Monday.
Sims (3-5) finished allowing two runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings for his first victory since Aug. 22.
Nick Markakis had a two-run double and Tyler Flowers homered for Atlanta, which has won three of four. Flowers also caught two baserunners stealing.
Juan Lagares had three hits and Tomas Nido drove in a pair of runs in his first major league start for the Mets, who lost for the seventh time in the last eight games.
Sims used a sinker-slider mix to limit New York, allowing just five baserunners through six innings before tiring in the seventh. The Lawrenceville, Georgia native also collected his first major league hit, singling off Chris Flexen (3-5) leading off the sixth. He later scored on Markakis’ double.
New York dropped to 66-90, hitting the 90-mark loss for the first time since going 70-92 in 2009.
Albies gave Atlanta an early lead, driving a knee-high fastball by Flexen off the right-field facade for his fifth home run. Citi Field was so quiet at the time, the sound of the ball hitting the signage echoed throughout the ballpark.
Atlanta padded its lead in the sixth after Flexen loaded the bases without recording an out. Josh Smoker relieved the right-hander and quickly induced a pop-up from Freddie Freeman, but Markakis hit a 1-1 slider that hugged the left field line to score two runs. After Flowers was intentionally walked to again load the bases, Rio Ruiz lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Albies.
Flexen allowed four runs and three hits over five innings.
New York finally got on the board in the seventh. Phil Evans led off with a walk and moved to second on Lagares’ third hit of the game. With his young hurler tiring, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker brought in Dan Winkler, who allowed Nido’s two-run double, spoiling Sims’ final line.
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.
Atlanta sends LHP Max Fried (1-0, 4.41 ERA) to the mound for Game 2. The Mets counter with RHP Seth Lugo (6-5, 5.03 ERA).
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)