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Kyle Muller shuts down Mets in 2-0 Braves win

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Muller turned in a solid performance.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game One Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Kyle Muller tossed five scoreless innings to help the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 win over the New York Mets in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader.

The Braves needed a big performance from Muller and he delivered. He walked Jonathan Villar to begin the game but then settled in and retired the next seven hitters he faced.

Atlanta staked Muller to a lead in the third but missed out on an opportunity to do a bunch of damage. Guillermo Heredia doubled to lead off the inning. Kyle Muller then squared to bunt, but pulled it back and singled through the left side to put runners at the corners. Joc Pederson followed with a double to the right field corner that scored Heredia to put the Braves up 1-0.

Instead of potentially knocking Marcus Stroman out of the game, the Braves let him off the hook. Ozzie Albies ran the count full but then chased what would have been ball four for the first out. The Mets then intentionally walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases but Austin Riley grounded into a 6-4-3 double play on the first pitch he saw to end the threat.

Muller worked into and out of trouble in the third. Stroman reached on a bunt single and then Villar followed with another hit to put runners at first and second. Muller dug in though and struck out Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto to leave them stranded.

Atlanta pushed another run across in the fourth. Dansby Swanson just missed a home run as he doubled off the top of the wall in center. Stephen Vogt followed with a single to right to put runners at the corners again. Orlando Arcia grounded to short but beat the relay throw at first. Swanson scored on the play to make it 2-0. Arcia would be stranded there though as Stroman struck out Heredia and Muller to finish the inning.

The Braves put runners at the corners again in the third on singles by Freeman and Riley but Stroman got Swanson to ground out for the final out.

Muller pitched into and out of trouble in the fifth. Brandon Drury pinch hit for Stroman and doubled to left center with one out. Villar followed with a walk but Muller got Alonso to ground into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch.

Muller would give way to a pinch hitter in the sixth. He gave everything that the Braves could have asked for allowing four hits and two walks over five scoreless innings. He struck out three and made every big pitch that was needed.

Tyler Matzek sat down the side in a sixth before giving way to Will Smith. Smith retired Kevin Pillar on a long fly to left that Abraham Almonte caught at the wall to begin the ninth. Tomas Nido followed with a single to center. Smith ran the count to 3-2 against pinch hitter James McCann who then hit a rocket to Swanson at short who made a nice pick to start the 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

With the win, Atlanta improves to 49-50 on the season and close to within four games of the division lead. Bryse Wilson will get the start for the Braves in Game 2 while the Mets are planning to go with a bullpen game.