ATLANTA — The losing streak is over, but the Mets’ casualties continue to mount at a head-spinning rate.
Scariest of all Monday night was the sight of blood pouring from Kevin Pillar’s face at Truist Park after he was struck by Jacob Webb’s 94 mph fastball in the seventh inning. Pillar, who crumpled to the ground in the batter’s box, eventually walked off the field.
Taijuan Walker departed earlier with left-side tightness, so a 3-1 victory over the Braves that snapped the Mets’ three-game skid couldn’t be fully celebrated. Before the game, the Mets placed Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil on the injured list with hamstring injuries, boosting the IL count to 11 players.
Walker appeared in discomfort on the mound during the third inning. He kept the bat on his shoulder during his first plate appearance, a continuation of the approach he took last Wednesday at Citi Field with Matt Harvey on the mound.
Over three shutout innings, in which he threw 33 pitches, Walker allowed one hit and lowered his ERA to 2.05. The right-hander has pitched to a 0.98 WHIP in eight starts.
Sean Reid-Foley replaced Walker and gave the Mets a chance by firing three perfect innings to keep the game scoreless. It was a fourth scoreless appearance in five for Reid-Foley, who has shuffled between Triple-A Syracuse and the Mets.
Jeurys Familia worked a scoreless seventh before Trevor May dented in the eighth, surrendering a solo homer to Austin Riley for the Braves’ second hit of the game. May allowed a double to Guillermo Heredia before retiring Pablo Sandoval and Ehire Adrianza. Edwin Diaz worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.
The Mets are already hurting for starting pitching, with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard all on the injured list. DeGrom is expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday that could place him in position for a weekend return.
With Conforto and McNeil placed on the IL before the game with hamstring injuries, manager Luis Rojas unveiled a lineup that included Johneshwy Fargas playing right field in his major league debut.
James McCann stroked a pinch-hit double in the seventh that brought in Tomas Nido with the game’s first run. After Fargas bunted McCann to third, Francisco Lindor walked and stole second. Dominic Smith was intentionally walked to load the bases. Pillar was then hit in the face to force in the second run.
Fargas stroked an RBI double (for his first major league hit) in the eighth inning to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0.
The Mets didn’t place a runner in scoring position against Max Fried until the sixth, when Pillar delivered a two-out double. Jonathan Villar followed with an infield single, but Pillar was left stranded at third when Fried retired Jose Peraza.
Fried was removed after six innings for precautionary reasons with cramping in his left hand. The lefty allowed one earned run on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.