Atlanta — The Mets could not have asked for more from pitcher Jacob deGrom. Away from the team for 12 days for a family emergency, the right-handed deGrom returned here Sunday for his second start of the season and pitched into the sixth inning in the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
DeGrom (2-0) allowed eight hits, all singles, including two infield hits. Manager Terry Collins said he hoped deGrom would be able to get to 85 pitches, and the pitcher reached 82 in five and two-thirds inning. He allowed one run.
The Mets (10-7) have won eight of their last 10 games. They begin a nine-game homestand Monday with a game against Cincinnati.
Center fielder Yoenis Cespedes missed another game after aggravating a leg bruise here Friday night. Collins said Cespedes would be examined Monday in New York.
The Mets had just seven hits, but deGrom and another solid performance by the bullpen made it work. The Mets’ relievers allowed just two runs in 11 innings in the series.
The Braves trailed by 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth and scored one run, but Mets closer Jeurys Familia got Daniel Castro to ground out with the tying run on second base.
DeGrom struck out three and he did something his teammate Matt Harvey had trouble with here Friday night, which was put away hitters. Four times in the first two innings, deGrom went to a 93-mile-per-hour fastball to get an out.
Harvey threw 101 pitches Friday night because the Braves fouled off pitches when he tried to put hitters away. DeGrom threw just 45 the first four innings.
In his first start of the season on April 8 against Philadelphia, deGrom won, 7-2, pitching six innings, but he left the game when he felt some pain in his right latissimus muscle.
While he was in Florida to be with his newborn son, who was in the hospital with a breathing problem, deGrom rested and the lat issue apparently resolved itself, he said. In side work while he was away from the team, deGrom said he practiced the mechanics of his delivery, which he said might have contributed to the lat muscle strain.
For the third straight game in the series, the Mets gave their pitchers no reason to strain early. They jumped to an early lead again, thanks again to the lead-off hitter Curtis Granderson.
In the top of the first inning, Granderson greeted Atlanta pitcher Aaron Blair, who was making his major league debut, with a sharp single. he raced to third on Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to right and scored on Michael Conforto’s sacrifice fly.
The Braves tied the score in the fifth, but in the sixth, the Mets scored two runs. Conforto’s ground-rule double scored a run and Lucas Duda had a sacrifice fly to drive in another run and make the score 3-1.