Yoenis Cespedes’ home run leads Mets to Opening Day win over Braves

Yoenis Cespedes crushed it and Edwin Diaz protected it, turning fan-empty Citi Field into a tame celebration of high-fives and blaring music. The Mets couldn’t have asked for a better script to start their abbreviated 2020 season. With Cespedes’ mighty bat supplying the only run, the Mets beat the Braves 1-0 in front of several …

Yoenis Cespedes crushed it and Edwin Diaz protected it, turning fan-empty Citi Field into a tame celebration of high-fives and blaring music.

The Mets couldn’t have asked for a better script to start their abbreviated 2020 season. With Cespedes’ mighty bat supplying the only run, the Mets beat the Braves 1-0 in front of several thousand cardboard cutouts.

Diaz, who lost the closer’s job last season, retired the Braves in the ninth, after Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson had combined for eight scoreless innings.

Cespedes, in his return after two years of rehab, delivered with a blast against Chris Martin in the seventh inning.

DeGrom dominated over five shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and one walk and struck out eight. The right-hander extended his scoreless streak to a career-best 28 innings, dating to last season, before Seth Lugo replaced him to start the sixth.

Yoenis Cespedes celebrates his solo home run today during the seventh inning.AP

The Braves’ lone hit against deGrom was Ronald Acuna Jr.’s broken-bat single in the third. DeGrom was at 50 pitches by the end of that inning, but threw only 22 over the next two frames. Originally, manager Luis Rojas had indicated deGrom would be on a pitch count of about 85, after his workload was curtailed in camp by a sore lower back that forced him to leave an intrasquad scrimmage after only one inning. DeGrom returned for a simulated game on Sunday in which he threw 60 pitches.

Jeff McNeil’s double in the fourth gave the Mets their best chance against Soroka, but a base-running gaffe ruined it. McNeil broke to third on Pete Alonso’s grounder to shortstop and was nailed by Dansby Swanson for the second out.

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