Jacob deGrom struck out 12 and carried a perfect game into the sixth inning of his second start this season Sunday afternoon for the New York Mets, who completed an authoritative series win by beating the visiting Atlanta Braves, 5-2.
The first-place Mets won four of five in the series to extend their lead over the Braves in the National League East to 6 1/2 games -- their largest lead since June 18.
DeGrom (1-0), who returned to action this week after missing almost 13 months due to elbow and shoulder injuries, struck out every batter in the Braves lineup at least once despite tossing just 5 2/3 innings. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner -- throwing fastballs clocked as high as 102 mph and a slider that was regularly measured between 93 and 96 mph -- retired the first 17 batters he faced before walking ninth-place hitter Ehire Adrianza.
Dansby Swanson followed by hitting a two-run homer to chase deGrom, who walked off the mound to a roaring ovation from a crowd of 37,717. The start was deGrom's first at Citi Field since July 7, 2021 -- his final appearance of last season.
Joely Rodriguez allowed one hit over 2 1/3 innings and Edwin Diaz recorded his 26th save by striking out the side in the ninth.
The Mets provided deGrom all the offense he'd need in the third against NL Rookie of the Year contender Spencer Strider (6-4). Brandon Nimmo singled and went to third on a one-out single by Francisco Lindor before Pete Alonso drove home both runners with a double that caromed off the third base bag.
Daniel Vogelbach walked and Jeff McNeil flew out before Mark Canha ripped a two-run double to left to end Strider's afternoon.
The Mets built another run in the fifth, when McNeil led off with a double, advanced to third on Canha's fly out and scored on a wild pitch by Collin McHugh.
Nimmo had three hits while Lindor and Tomas Nido had two hits each.
Austin Riley had the Braves' other hit a leadoff single in the seventh.
Strider allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five over 2 2/3 innings -- his shortest start since moving into the rotation May 30.
--Field Level Media