Braves lose no-hitter on 2-out HR, still top Mets

Braves lose no-hitter on 2-out HR, still top Mets

NEW YORK — The Atlanta Braves were one out away from ending their 30-year no-hitter drought Saturday at Citi Field. Then J.D. Martinez stepped to the plate.

The New York Mets’ designated hitter spoiled the Braves’ bid with a first-pitch solo home run off closer Raisel Iglesias with two outs in the ninth inning. The heroics marked the veteran Martinez’s first home run as a Met. New York, however, lost 4-1.

The Braves have gone without a no-hitter since Kent Mercker held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless on April 8, 1994. It is the fourth-longest drought in the major leagues.

Max Fried logged the first seven no-hit innings for Atlanta, compiling five strikeouts and three walks before he was pulled with 109 pitches. Two of Fried’s walks came in the third inning before he struck out Starling Marte to extinguish the threat.

The Mets managed to put just one more runner in scoring position before the ninth inning, when Jimenez walked two batters in the eighth. He wiggled out of the jam by striking out Tyrone Taylor and Marte.

The Mets came close to spoiling Fried’s bid a few times. Pete Alonso mashed a pitch 104.9 mph off the bat, 405 feet to center field in the second inning that would’ve been a home run in six big league ballparks. Instead, it was a flyout. Moments later, Martinez hit a 105.6 mph line drive at third baseman Austin Riley for the second out of the inning.

Martinez nearly delivered the Mets’ first hit again in the seventh inning when, after Alonso worked a walk, he skied a ball 408 feet to center field. What would’ve been a home run in 12 ballparks was another flyout Saturday. Fried then struck out Jeff McNeil looking to end his sterling outing.

The Mets’ offense was dealt a blow when leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo exited the game after the fourth inning with what the Mets termed “right intercostal irritation.” Manager Carlos Mendoza said after the game that he’s “not too concerned” about Nimmo’s injury, adding that he is day-to-day.