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Kevin Pillar takes fastball to face in Mets’ win over Braves

In their first matchup against the Braves this season, some unlikely heroes came to the rescue to secure a 3-1 Mets victory on Monday night at Truist Park.

After six tough innings offensively, a Tomás Nido double in the top of the seventh inning got the Mets going. Then, after just three pitches, James McCann followed up Nido’s hit with his first double of the season to bring Nido home and break the scoreless tie.

But then Jacob Webb threw a 94.5-mph fastball that hit Kevin Pillar in the face, causing him to exit the game. Because the bases were loaded when Pillar was hit, McCann scored and gave the Mets a 2-0 lead.

Pillar was replaced by rookie outfielder Khalil Lee, who made his Major League debut.

Taijuan Walker made the start for New York, but he exited the game after 33 pitches due to tightness in his left side. Walker worked three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and recording two strikeouts.

Mets manager Luis Rojas called on Sean Reid-Foley to carry the momentum into the fourth inning, after the short yet dominant outing from Walker. Reid-Foley immediately made an impact with a three-up, three-down fourth inning to build the Mets’ momentum.

Reid-Foley had all three of his pitches working against the Braves, especially his changeup. He finished the night with a whiff percentage of 43%. To Reid-Foley’s advantage, the Braves were likely not expecting to see him on the mound, which allowed him to attack the zone and display his full arsenal.

Along with Lee, Johneshwy Fargas also made his Major League debut in his first start at center field. With Nido on second, Fargas took full advantage and added another first to his night with an RBI double to right field, driving home Nido and pushing the score to 3-0 in the eighth inning.