For the second consecutive night, the Atlanta Braves played the role of spoiler against the New York Mets to perfection. Julio Teheran put together a strong performance, Adonis Garcia boasted the biggest swing of the night and the Braves extended their winning streak to four games with a 5-4 victory at Citi Field.
The first five innings of Tuesday’s contest were not exactly filled with fireworks, as only one run crossed the plate. That run came in the third inning when Jose Reyes tripled against Teheran to lead off the frame and he was quickly brought home by a double from the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera. Aside from that, though, Teheran was quite impressive.
The talented right-hander navigated seven innings while allowing only one earned run and, aside from the two-batter sample of Reyes and Cabrera in the third, it was a fantastic showing. In fact, Teheran allowed only six baserunners and retired 15 of the final 16 batters that he faced. Breezing through seven innings with only one strikeout is not ideal under most circumstances, but Teheran was largely sharp and he placed the Braves in a fantastic position to win.
With Atlanta trailing 1-0 after five innings, the path to extending the winning streak and hampering New York’s playoff run seemed distant, but the offense awakened. Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia strung together back-to-back singles with one out against Mets starter Robert Gsellman, and Freddie Freeman extended his on-base streak to 40 (!) games with a walk to load the bases. Then, Matt Kemp brought Inciarte home with a single and, after a pitching change, Nick Markakis drew a bases loaded walk to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.
The ensuing inning was even more kind to the road team, as Dansby Swanson led off with a single and was quickly joined on base by Inciarte after another hit from the lead-off man. That sequenced set up the biggest swing in win expectancy on the night, as Garcia blasted a three-run home run against Jerry Blevins to give Atlanta a 5-1 cushion that the team would never relinquish.
Unfortunately for the Braves, though, that four-run lead almost proved to be too thin. Teheran exited after seven innings and, well, Jose Ramirez wasn’t quite as effective. Ramirez retired Reyes for the first out in the eighth, but the wheels careened off from there, as he walked Cabrera, hit Yoenis Cespedes with a pitch and issued an RBI double to Curtis Granderson to slash the lead.
T.J. Rivera then produced a sacrifice fly to chase Ramirez from the game with the score sitting at 5-3, and Ian Krol allowed an RBI single to Eric Campbell to shave the margin down to 5-4. Mercifully, Krol retired the next two batters in order to preserve the lead, and Jim Johnson slammed the door in the ninth inning to preserve the win.
In addition to the strong work of Teheran, Tuesday night was also quite kind to Ender Inciarte, Adonis Garcia and Dansby Swanson. Inciarte reached base four times and scored two runs to continue his fantastic recent play, Garcia had the big home run and added two more hits and Swanson contributed a 2-for-4 day at the plate to raise his average to .313 since arriving in Atlanta.
The Braves and Mets will wrap things up on Wednesday night with Ryan Weber taking on Bartolo Colon. Stay tuned.