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Braves complete sweep of Mets on Ozzie Albies walkoff, 13-10

It was another comeback win for the Braves in the series finale, but this one was markedly different than the first two.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In what was rightfully billed to be a pitchers’ duel between Spencer Strider and Justin Verlander, the Braves and Mets combined for eight runs in the first inning and a half of baseball and ultimately 23 runs over 10 innings as Atlanta walked off New York, 13-10, on Thursday night. In total, the two pitchers gave up 13 runs on 15 hits and six walks in 7.0 combined innings pitched.

With the win, the Braves’ fifth in a row, Atlanta improves to 38-24 on the year, while New York falls to 30-33 and eight and a half games back in the NL East.

Strider sat down Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Alvarez and Jeff McNeil in order in the top of the first—the game’s last one-two-three frame until the seventh inning, so bear with me.

The Braves jumped on Verlander early, a welcome change from the first two games of the series. Ronald Acuña Jr. led off with a double down the left field line for the Braves and was brought home two batters later when Austin Riley hit a two-run homer to the second row of the Chop House.

Travis d’Arnaud followed it up with a single through the right side and scored on an Eddie Rosario single to right field that rolled under the glove of Starling Marte, who was seemingly channeling his inner McNeil from Tuesday, and all the way to the wall. Rosario advanced to third on the error and was stranded there, but the Braves took a 3-0 lead into the second.

The lead did not last, as Strider allowed three consecutive singles to Francisco Lindor, Brett Baty and Marte before recording an out, and Marte’s scored Lindor to cut the Braves’ lead to 3-1. After striking out Tommy Pham, Strider allowed a soft pop-up of a single to shallow center to Omar Narvaez to load the bases and then a grand slam to Nimmo two batters later that landed in almost exactly the same place as Riley’s earlier homer, bringing the score to 5-3 in favor of New York.

Orlando Arcia led off the Braves’ half of the second with a single up the middle, and Michael Harris II grounded into a fielder’s choice to replace him. Matt Olson laced a single with two outs that allowed Harris II to advance to third, but both runners were left there when Riley tattooed a 107MPH liner directly to Lindor.

The Mets tacked on another run the third in the third courtesy of a McNeil single, Lindor walk and Baty RBI single all with no outs, but Strider was able to settle in and limit the damage from there.

Four Verlander walks—including eight straight balls thrown to Harris II and Acuña Jr.—and an Arcia RBI single brought Atlanta within one run, 6-5, in the bottom of the third.

The back-and-forth continued in the top of the fourth when Alvarez hit a two-run homer after a Nimmo walk, putting the Mets up 8-5.

Stephen Nogosek replaced Verlander in the bottom of the fourth and promptly gave up an infield single to Riley, and Baty made an error on a d’Arnaud grounder to put two on with no outs. The Braves would wind up with a scoreless frame, though, after a fielder’s choice and double play.

Making his first appearance since being placed on the IL on May 25th, Michael Tonkin entered in relief of Strider in the top of the fifth and got off to a good start with a Baty strikeout, but it was short-lived, as he allowed a single to Marte and an RBI double to Pham. The play at the plate was close, and Marte was originally called out, but replay correctly determined d’Arnaud whiffed on the tag, upping the Mets’ lead to 9-5 midway through the fifth.

After striking out in his first two at-bats, Marcell Ozuna hit a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning to bring the Braves within three.

Harris II doubled later in the frame, a welcome sight as he appears to be really emerging from his slump, but a popout from Acuña Jr. and a flyout from Olson ended the inning with no further scoring.

The Mets would get the run back and break double digit runs on a solo homer of their own, this one Alvarez’s second longball of the game, in the top of the sixth. Tonkin appeared poised to allow more damage, but the infield turned this interesting double play to end the frame with the score at 10-6.

Eddie Rosario joined the scoring party in the bottom of the sixth, notching his 500th career RBI in the form of a single after Riley hit a ball smack off of Mets reliever Jeff Brigham for a single and advanced to second on a d’Arnaud groundout.

Joe Jiménez entered the game in the top of the seventh and did the unthinkable, retiring the Mets in order.

Brooks Raley and Drew Smith kept the Braves scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, but Harris II did notably have a one-out single up the middle to continue his breakout.

The Mets went quietly aside from an Alvarez walk in the eighth, Jiménez’s second inning of work, and both of those scoreless innings paid off in the bottom of the frame. Riley singled to center with one out, his career-high-tying fourth hit of the day, to tee up a towering two-run homer by d’Arnaud that improbably cut the Mets’ lead to just one.

Jesse Chavez continued to defy the odds and tossed a scoreless top of the ninth despite giving up a pair of walks and a single to load the bases with one out.

Ozuna led off the bottom of the ninth with a strikeout on ball four.

But it ended up not mattering, as Arcia blasted a game-tying homer to left-center.

Acuña Jr. then singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but the game was destined for extra innings, which felt like a fitting outcome for this chaos.

Raisel Iglesias threw a beautiful 1-2-3 frame with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the 10th.

The Braves pinch ran Sam Hilliard for Matt Olson as the ghost runner in the bottom of the frame. Riley fouled out to Baty for the first out before d’Arnaud walked, but Rosario flew out to left field to leave the energy feeling like the game might be going to an 11th inning. But Albies had other plans, launching a three-run walkoff blast—his first hit of the evening, and he was the last one in the Braves lineup without a hit prior—to complete the sweep.

Next up, the Braves will begin a three-game set with the Washington Nationals on Friday at Truist Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:20PM, and AJ Smith-Shawver is set to face off against Josiah Gray in his first Major League start.

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