Sean Newcomb kept striking out Mets batters even when he couldn’t rely on his big curveball.
For Braves manager Brian Snitker, that was an encouraging sign about the rookie left-hander’s future.
Newcomb recorded eight strikeouts, including five straight, and Atlanta beat Rafael Montero and the New York Mets 3-2 on Friday night.
Newcomb (6-5, 255 pounds) relied on his strong fastball. When he didn’t have a good feel on his curveball, he had to put a bigger emphasis on his changeup.
It was a confidence-building night for the 24-year-old and his manager.
“You see what the kid is capable of,” Snitker said. “He’s getting better.”
Newcomb (3-8) gave up two runs on six hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. His eight strikeouts fell one shy of his career high.
“I am getting a better grip with it,” Newcomb said of his changeup. “I’m a lot more comfortable with it than I was last year.”
The Mets have lost five straight.
Newcomb’s run of five strikeouts began after he…