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Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson homer to help Braves to 6-3 win over Mets

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Riley launched his fourth home run of the series.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Austin Riley homered again and drove in three runs to help the Atlanta Braves to a 6-3 win over the New York Mets.

The Mets put Drew Smyly to work early and he was fortunate to escape the first inning scoreless. He walked Brandon Nimmo to lead off the inning and then sandwiched strikeouts of Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis around a single by Dominic Smith. Wither runners at second and third, Smyly needed 11 pitches to put away James McCann to strand the runners. He struck out the side in the inning but needed 30 pitches to do so.

Smyly had an easier time in the second striking out Michael Conforto and Jonathan Villar to begin the inning. Brandon Drury followed with a single to left but was left stranded as Taijuan Walker grounded out on a bunt attempt.

New York jumped on top in the third when Nimmo lifted a fly ball to left that was misplayed by Almonte into a double. The play was originally scored as an error but was inexplicably changed to a double. Nimmo moved up to third on a ground out by Alonso and then came in to score on a single by Smith. Joc Pederson gunned down Smith as he tried to stretch the hit into a double and Smyly was able to get out of the inning with no further damage.

After being held in check over the first three innings, Atlanta’s offense finally got in gear in the fourth. Ozzie Albies walked to lead off the inning and then came around to score on a two-run home run by Austin Riley, his fourth homer of the series to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

Two batters later, Almonte made up for the miscue in left in a big way with a solo shot down the line in left for a solo home run to extend the lead to 3-1.

Smyly worked himself into and out of trouble in the fourth. McCann singled to lead off the inning but was erased as Conforto grounded into a 6-3 double play. Villar and Drury followed with back-to-back singles but Walker struck out to end the threat.

The Braves tacked on two more runs in the fifth, one on a bloop single by Albies that scored Guillermo Heredia and another on a Riley single that plated Pederson to extend the lead to 5-1.

Despite laboring through the fourth, the Braves tried to get Smyly through the fifth but things didn’t work out. Nimmo led off the inning with a single and then came around to score on a long home run by Alonso that cut Atlanta’s lead to 5-3.

That would be the end of Smyly’s day as he would exit having allowed nine hits and three runs in four innings. He struck out six and walked one. He threw 85 pitches with 56 going for strikes. Jesse Chavez replaced Smyly and retired Smith, Davis and McCann in order to end the inning.

Tyler Matzek held the Mets in check in the sixth and the seventh allowing one hit, which was erased on a double play, while striking out two. The Braves got an insurance run in the eighth when Dansby Swanson took Jeurys Familia deep to right center for his career-high 18th home run of the season. Swanson is now just two homers away from tying the franchise record for homers by a shortstop.

Luke Jackson allowed a two-out single to McCann but nothing else in a scoreless eighth. Things weren’t easy for Will Smith in the ninth. Villar led off the inning with a double. Smith then retired Drury and pinch-hitter Tomas Nido on liners to Pederson in right. He would escape with no more drama striking out Nimmo to close things out.

The Braves improve to 51-52 with the win and cut their deficit in the NL East back to four games. They take three of the five games with the Mets and end their nine-game trip with a 5-4 record. They will return home where they will begin a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday at Truist Park.