Ronald Acuña Jr. homered again while Ian Anderson turned in a good outing in a 1-0 win over the New York Mets.
The Braves missed a golden opportunity in the first against Mets righty Jerad Eickhoff who was making his first start in the Majors since 2019. Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the game with a double. After a Freddie Freeman pop out, Ozzie Albies and Abraham Almonte walked to load the bases. Austin Riley worked the count full but then chased a low and away slider for the second out. Dansby Swanson then tapped back to the mound to end the threat.
The Mets threatened against Ian Anderson in the second. Pete Alonso led off the inning with a single. Dominic Smith followed with a single of his own but Acuña cut Alonso down when he tried to advance to third.
The game would remain scoreless into the fifth when Acuña took matters into his own hands again as he launched home run No. 20 on a hanging slider from Miguel Castro to begin the fifth.
Anderson had retired eight straight before Jonathan Villar hooked a double into the right field corner with one out in the sixth. He would exit in favor of A.J. Minter who would be brought on to face Francisco Lindor with the tying run at second and one out. Lindor grounded to Swanson at short who then threw to Riley at third to nab pinch runner Jose Peraza for the second out. With Jeff McNeil at the plate, Minter picked off Lindor to escape the inning.
Anderson was excellent allowing just three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five while throwing 85 pitches.
Will Smith made things interesting in the seventh. McNeil grounded out to get things started before Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith reached with back-to-back singles. Smith then plunked James McCann with a 1-0 pitch to load the bases. Kevin Pillar then hit a laser that Austin Riley flagged down for the second out. Alonso was originally ruled out at third but replay overturned the call. Smith then got Brandon Drury to pop out to Albies at second to end the game. Whew!
The Braves improve to 34-37 and are back where they started when the day began, five games back of the NL East lead. They will try to creep closer on Tuesday when Charlie Morton faces off against Marcus Stroman.