Acuña’s homer off Barnes in 9th lifts Braves over Mets, 5-4

on May19
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Ronald Acuña Jr. homered on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-4 on Wednesday night after blowing an early two-run lead.

Acuña drilled the first pitch from Jacob Barnes (1-1) to center field for his NL-leading 13th homer. The Mets were denied a sweep of the three-game series.

Tomás Nido gave New York a 4-3 lead with a pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh.

The Braves pulled even in the eighth. Aaron Loup gave up a run on three hits, including a run-scoring single by William Contreras, without getting an out. Dansby Swanson was caught stealing at third base on a strong throw by catcher James McCann for the second out of the inning.


The Mets wasted a scoring opportunity in the ninth. Cameron Maybin struck out but reached first on a wild pitch from Will Smith (1-4). Maybin, making his Mets debut after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, stole second and moved to third on another wild pitch before McCann and José Peraza popped out to end the inning.

The Braves snapped a five-game home losing streak.

The Mets trailed 3-1 before Braves left-hander A.J. Minter’s throwing error set the stage for three unearned runs — all with two outs — in the seventh. Minter’s wild throw to first base after fielding Dominic Smith’s weak grounder in front of the mound set up the inning.

After Minter walked McCann, Peraza’s double drove in Smith. Nido’s bloop single to shallow center off Luke Jackson drove in two runs.

Charlie Morton left the game with a 3-1 lead after allowing only two hits in six innings. The right-hander had eight strikeouts and no walks while adding a run-scoring single in the Braves’ three-run fifth.

David Peterson gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Jonathan Villar’s leadoff homer in the fourth gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. Guillermo Heredia and Morton had run-scoring singles in Atlanta’s three-run fifth.


Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard allowed one hit in four scoreless innings for Class A St. Lucie during his first rehabilitation start in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. “He threw really well,” manager Luis Rojas said. “It was a very successful start.” … RHP Taijuan Walker (left side tightness) was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday. … RHP Jacob deGrom (lower back tightness) played catch without problems before the game and will make a rehab start with St. Lucie on Thursday. … 1B Pete Alonso was rested for the first time this season.

Braves: LHP Grant Dayton (thigh inflammation) was activated from the 10-day injured list. LHP Tucker Davidson was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after allowing three runs in six innings Tuesday night in his 2021 debut. Manager Brian Snitker said Davidson “will be in the mix” for spot starts as RHP Huascar Ynoa (broken right hand) is expected to miss two months. … The team acquired C Kevan Smith from Tampa Bay for cash. Smith, 32, was designated for assignment by the Rays on Sunday. He was 1 for 4 in three games with the Rays this season. C Jeff Mathis was designated for assignment. Mathis, 38, was 0 for 9 with five strikeouts in three games.


Mets: Following an off day Thursday, the Mets will continue their nine-game road trip when they open a weekend series at Miami on Friday night. RHP Marcus Stroman (3-4, 2.72 ERA) is New York’s scheduled starter.

Braves: LHP Drew Smyly (2-2, 5.23 ERA) is scheduled to start when the Braves open a four-game series against RHP Wil Crowe (0-2, 4.35) and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

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