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Jeff McNeil leaves game against Braves with hamstring injury

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The All-Star will have an MRI after his left hamstring “tightened up” in the ninth inning.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ 5-3 defeat in the opening game of their huge series in Atlanta against the National League East-leading Braves may have been costlier than a game in the standings, as All-Star outfielder/second baseman Jeff McNeil pulled up lame trying to beat out a slow grounder in the ninth inning.

Leading off the top of the ninth inning, McNeil hit a slow chopper to third baseman Josh Donaldson. McNeil took a huge final stride to try to reach first, clipping his toe on the front of the base and stumbling a bit. As he continued down the line, McNeil winced and grabbed at his left hamstring.

After the game, manager Mickey Callaway confirmed that McNeil’s left hamstring “tightened up” on him. The super utilityman will go for an MRI in Atlanta tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury.

Notably in a race for the National League batting title this year with his .332 average, McNeil is also among the top 10 in the league in multiple categories, including WAR, doubles, and on-base percentage. The loss of one of their key players this season for any extended period of time would put a major damper on the current streak the Mets have been enjoying and dramatically increase the degree of difficulty of their playoff push.