The Atlanta Braves had their chances early but a rough eighth inning pushed the game out of reach in a 7-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Ian Anderson’s night got off to a rough start as he walked the first three hitters he faced to begin the first inning. After a strikeout of Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano punched a single the other way that scored two to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. Anderson would come back and retire Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil to limit the damage but needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning.
The Braves had their first scoring chance in the second against Mets lefty David Peterson. Travis d’Arnaud worked a lead off walk and then advanced to third on a double by Adam Duvall. However, Atlanta was unable to get the key hit that they needed as Ozzie Albies popped out before Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley struck out to end the inning.
Anderson settled down and got through the second and third unscathed. He would run into trouble again in the fourth. McNeil struck out to begin the inning before Andres Gimenez reached on an infield single. Robinson Chirinos followed with a double down the left field line that scored Gimenez to extend the lead to 3-0.
Atlanta got the lead off man on again in the fifth when Riley chopped one down the line in right for a double. Peterson was undeterred though and struck out Tyler Flowers, got Ronald Acuña Jr. to ground out and then struck out Freddie Freeman to end the threat.
Anderson retired the first two hitters in the fifth and then exited after having thrown 99 pitches. He allowed four hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking four. The walks were problematic, especially early, but Anderson did a good job of keeping the game within reach when things could have really gotten out of hand in the first inning.
The Braves finally broke through against Peterson in the sixth when Adam Duvall launched his 16th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 3-1. The homer was Duvall’s 11th in September tying him with Eddie Matthews for the franchise record.
Peterson would exit after the inning having allowed three hits and one run. He walked four and became the first Mets pitcher besides Jacob deGrom to strikeout at least 10 in a game.
Swanson led off the seventh with a double off of reliever Miguel Castro. Riley followed with a five-pitch walk to put runners and first and second with no one out. Castro came back and struck out Flowers for the first out but walked Acuña to load the bases. That would be the end of the night for Castro as lefty Justin Wilson would be summoned to face Freeman with the bases loaded and one out. Freeman would get ahead 1-0 but would ground sharply to Cano at second who would start the 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
The Braves crept closer in the eighth when d’Arnaud launched a solo homer off of Jeurys Familia to make it 3-2. It was d’Arnaud’s second homer in as many nights and his ninth of the season.
The Mets would get that run back and then some in the bottom half of the frame as Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano greeted Shane Greene with back-to-back homers to push the lead to 5-2. Greene then got Pete Alonso to pop out for the first out of the inning but then allowed a double to right by McNeil. Greene then hit Gimenez with a pitch before Chirinos dumped a single into no man’s land between Swanson and Marcell Ozuna in left to load the bases. Brandon Nimmo followed with a soft single through the right side that scored two and extended the lead to 7-2. That would end the night for Greene as Brian Snitker would call for Jacob Webb who retired Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis to escape further damage.
Atlanta again got the leadoff man on in the ninth as Swanson worked a walk off of Erasmo Ramirez. Austin Riley flew out for the first out but Flowers connected on a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third. Ramirez then buckled down striking out Acuña and Freeman to end the game.
The Braves will try to bounce back on Sunday when they wrap up their road trip in the rubber match of the series. Kyle Wright will be on the mound for Atlanta while Rick Porcello will get the start for the Mets.