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Mets Shut Out Braves; Syndergaard Exits With Blister

Associated Press

Noah Syndergaard pitched six sharp innings before leaving with a blister, Asdrubal Cabrera singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh and the Mets broke through following a pivotal replay reversal to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 in their season opener Monday.

Syndergaard struck out seven without a walk in his first Opening Day start, the only blemish a blister on the top of his right middle finger that ended his outing.

"It was just affecting me on all pitches," Syndergaard said. "I haven't had it in a long time. I had it when I was going through the minor leagues with the Blue Jays, but kind of a rare occurrence."

Syndergaard called it "just a little blister" and insisted he's not too worried. Still, manager Terry Collins said the righthander's next turn will be pushed back a day to Sunday.

"It's not very big. He had it, and it popped during the inning," Collins said. "These guys, that's a very common thing. They'll dry it out the next couple days. He'll be ready."

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran throttled the Mets as usual, throwing six scoreless innings before a sellout crowd of 44,384 at Citi Field. But once he was lifted after 96 pitches, New York took advantage of five walks by a shaky Braves bullpen in a six-run seventh that lasted 35 minutes.

Curtis Granderson had a sacrifice fly, and Lucas Duda added a three-run double off ineffective lefty Eric O'Flaherty.

The Mets stopped a six-game home losing streak against Atlanta — the last-place Braves swept their final two series in Queens last year — and improved baseball's best record on Opening Day to 36-20.

Rene Rivera began the seventh with a single against Ian Krol (0-1). One out later, Jose Reyes walked and Cabrera singled for his third hit. Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte made a strong peg home, and Wilmer Flores initially was called out.

But replays showed catcher Tyler Flowers was in poor position when he took the throw behind the plate, allowing Flores to touch the front corner with his foot before getting tagged.

"Great slide," Duda said.

From there, the Mets stayed disciplined in the batter's box and built a comfortable lead.

"Yeah, we kind of have a big momentum shift right there and probably turns the game around," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Hansel Robles (1-0) worked a perfect inning for the win.

Freddie Freeman had three hits for Atlanta, including a one-out triple in the fourth. Syndergaard struck out the other three batters in the inning, and pitched out of trouble against the middle of the lineup again in the sixth.

"That's the reason why he's starting Opening Day," Freeman said. "He's one of the best pitchers in the game, and he worked his way out of it."

With fans still filing in, Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon received a standing ovation during pregame introductions as he waved and tipped his cap to the crowd. Colon, who turns 44 in May, won 44 games for the Mets over the past three seasons. He signed a $12.5 million, one-year contract with Atlanta in November. "Bartolo had a huge effect on this team," Collins said.

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