López throws 6 strong innings, Acuña scores 3 runs as Braves hold off Mets 6-5


ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. scored three runs and stole three bases, Reynaldo López threw six scoreless innings in his first home start for Atlanta, and the Braves held off the New York Mets 6-5 on Tuesday night.

The Braves led 6-0 before Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer off Tyler Matzek in the eighth. Atlanta closer Raisel Iglesias gave up two runs in the ninth, including Omar Narváez’s run-scoring double, but earned his second save. Iglesias struck out Alonso with a runner on to end the game.

López (1-0) earned the No. 5 spot in Atlanta's rotation after signing a $30 million, three-year contract on Nov. 30. The right-hander, primarily a reliever the last two seasons, has a 0.75 ERA through two starts. He had six strikeouts while allowing three hits and three walks against the Mets.

“I think I'm a very different pitcher than I was three years ago,” López said through a translator. “I didn't have the type of command I have on my breaking pitches.”

Acuña had two hits, including the first of the Braves' six straight singles to open a three-run third inning. He stole second and third following a fourth-inning walk.

Acuña led the majors with 73 steals and hit 41 homers in his 2023 NL MVP season. He has four steals but has not homered through 10 games.

“I haven't gotten off to the start I wanted this season, but it's a long season,” Acuña said.

Mets right-hander Adrian Houser (0-1), who hit only one batter with a pitch in 111 1/3 innings last season with Milwaukee, plunked two Atlanta hitters in the first two innings.

Houser's first pitch hit Acuña, who stole second, advanced to third on Narváez's throwing error and scored on Ozzie Albies' double. Houser allowed five runs in five innings.

New York right-hander Dedniel Núñez, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game, gave up one run over two innings in his major league debut.

“I felt comfortable,” Núñez said through a translator. “I'm happy with the job I did. I don't feel bad about it. It gave me confidence.”