Braves ace Mike Soroka leaves game with injured right leg

Mike Soroka

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka (40) waits for assistance from the training staff after being injured in the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Atlanta. Soroaka was helped to the dugout and replaced. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka had to be helped off the field in the third inning against the New York Mets after tumbling to the infield grass with an injured right leg Monday night.

Soroka was hurt after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman. Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, but he went down on his first step off the mound. Soroka appeared to injure his ankle or foot.

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. The right-hander was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of a trainer and manager Brian Sniker.

If the injury is serious, it would be a major blow to the two-time NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in the NL rookie of the year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, trailing 3-0 when he left the game with two runners aboard.

He allowed three hits, walked four and wound up being charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest stint of his career.

Soroka was replaced by Chris Rusin.

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