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Braves gets best of Mets bullpen again


EditorsNote: Added Freeman's HR total at end of 8th graf

Billy Hamilton continued to haunt the New York Mets on Saturday night, when one of the newest members of the Atlanta Braves played a pivotal role in a tie-breaking two-run eighth-inning rally that lifted the visiting Braves to a 9-5 win.

The Braves have won seven straight. The Mets, who have the best record in baseball since the All-Star Break at 27-12, have lost two straight.

Brad Brach (4-4) retired the first two batters in the eighth before Rafael Ortega singled. Hamilton, pinch-hitting for winning pitcher Josh Tomlin (2-1), then singled past second base. Hamilton was placed on waivers by the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 16 and was claimed Monday by the Braves, who are behind the Mets in the waiver process.

Ronald Acuna Jr. followed with an RBI single to score Ortega. Hamilton, whose 297 steals since his big league debut in 2013 are the most in the majors, raced to third and then sprinted home when Mets left fielder J.D. Davis jogged towards the infield and lofted the ball to shortstop Amed Rosario.

Hamilton had the tie-breaking RBI single in the 14th inning of Friday's 2-1 win.

The dash home by Hamilton capped a night of miscues in the field for the Mets. A two-base error by third baseman Todd Frazier helped the Braves score the tying run in the sixth. In the seventh, Jeff McNeil led off with a double but was thrown out at third trying to advance on a grounder to short by Rosario, who was then thrown out trying to steal second by Francisco Cervelli.

The nabbing of Rosario continued a monster first game with the Braves for Cervelli, who signed with Atlanta on Saturday. Cervelli went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson homered in the third for the Braves, who tied the game on Ortega's RBI single in the sixth. Freddie Freeman homered leading off the ninth, his 35th of the season.

Joe Panik (fielder's choice in the third) and Rosario (single in the fifth) each had an RBI for the Mets, who took a brief lead on Pete Alonso's three-run homer in the fifth. It was the team record-tying 41st blast for Alonso, who shares the record with Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltran (2006).

Tomlin tossed two scoreless innings.

Braves starter Max Fried allowed five runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five over five innings. Mets starter Zack Wheeler gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks while striking out three over six innings.

--Field Level Media

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