Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves are hoping to count on someone to lead their injury-depleted rotation.
Ervin Santana might be that guy.
Santana tossed eight scoreless innings in his Braves debut and Atlanta topped the New York Mets 4-3 in the middle test of a three-game set.
Santana (1-0) struck out six and scattered three hits for the Braves, who snapped a two-game skid.
"We went out with a game plan of getting ahead," Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis said of what made Santana so effective.
Santana was signed to a one-year deal on March 12 after Atlanta lost starters Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen for the year due to elbow surgery, while Mike Minor is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left shoulder.
Jason Heyward snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a leadoff homer and tallied three hits, two RBI and a pair of runs scored in the triumph.
Zack Wheeler (0-2) allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings for New York, which fell to 3-5.
Heyward fouled off four straight fastballs before launching a blast into the front row of seats on the 11th pitch of his at-bat in the first inning to make it 1-0.
"Just an unbelievable at-bat by Jason," Gattis remarked of Heyward's lengthy at-bat ending in a homer. "It did kind of set the tone a little bit."
Gattis doubled and Santana singled two batters later to put runners on the corners in the fifth. Heyward then ripped an RBI single to right before Andrelton Simmons laced a base hit to load the bases for Freddie Freeman, who brought two home with a single to left.
"They just strung together a few good hits," Wheeler said of the Braves. "A lot of singles. There's nothing you can really do. You just gotta make your pitch I guess a little bit better."
Eric Young worked a leadoff walk and David Wright hit a one-out single against Jordan Walden before Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth. He walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases for Lucas Duda, who fanned for the second out.
Juan Lagares grounded a single up the middle to plate Young and Wright and Travis d'Arnaud lined a base hit to right to score Granderson and cut the deficit to 4-3.
Kimbrel, though, struck out Ruben Tejada to pick up his fourth save of the year.
Twenty nine of Santana's first 30 pitches of the game were strikes ... The Braves were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position ... Heyward and Freeman each have four RBI so far this season.
04/09 22:59:18 ET
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