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Donaldson hits go-ahead homer in 6th, Braves beat Mets 7-2

Wed Jun 19 11:48pm ET
By GEORGE HENRY
Associated Press

Players: Nick Markakis, Tyler Flowers, Wilson Ramos, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Culberson, Freddie Freeman, Tyler Chatwood, Steven Matz, Dallas Keuchel, Ender Inciarte, J.D. Davis, Max Fried, Sean Newcomb, Amed Rosario, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz heads to the dugout after being removed during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. The Braves won 7-2. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Luke Jackson works in the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. The Braves won 7-2. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) and center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. celebrate after the Braves defeated the New York Mets 7-2 in a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) and first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) celebrate after the Braves defeated the New York Mets 7-2 in a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves' Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates with Austin Riley after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


New York Mets' J.D. Davis (28) is tagged out by Atlanta Braves catcher Tyler Flowers (25) as he tries to score on a Wilson Ramos base hit in the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman (5) embraces teammate Ronald Acuna Jr., (13) after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) watches as fans try to catch a ball hit for a two-run home run by Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) works against the New York Mets in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) runs to first base after connecting on a two-run home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves finished an 8-2 homestand with another convincing victory.

Freddie Freeman loved nearly every minute of it.

''It's pretty much the best you can possibly do, really,'' the slugger said. ''We won every series, and that's ultimately the goal.''

Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning, Freeman launched an early two-run shot and the Braves beat the New York Mets 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The NL East leaders are 14-4 in June, best in the majors. They top the big leagues in runs, homers and RBIs this month and have outscored opponents 43-12 in going 5-0 in rubber games at home this season.

Freeman blooped a pop-fly single to begin the sixth inning, Atlanta's first hit since his homer in the first off Steven Matz (5-5). Donaldson followed with his 14th home run, sixth in his last nine games, before Austin Riley doubled and scored on Ozzie Albies' double to make it 5-2.

That chased Matz, who allowed five runs on six hits and lost for the first time in nine career starts against the Braves.

''I wasn't executing good pitches there,'' Matz said. ''They were seeing me the third time through. That was a big inning for me, and they just got me.''

Max Fried (8-3) shook off a 6.10 ERA over his last eight starts, bearing down to escape trouble in his last two innings.

After striking out Pete Alonso to strand a runner at second in the fifth, Fried had runners on first and second in the sixth when right fielder Charlie Culberson picked up Wilson Ramos' opposite-field single and threw on one bounce to catcher Tyler Flowers. J.D. Davis tried to jump over Flowers, but was tagged out before touching the plate.

Fried struck out Amed Rosario to end the sixth and strand a runner at third. The left-hander gave up two runs and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings, winning for the first time in five starts.

''He kind of got himself back together,'' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ''His breaking ball was good, his fastball command, he reached back for a little extra couple of times. It was huge getting out of the sixth inning. That was impressive right there. He took a lot of steps forward in my opinion.''

The Mets, who have dropped 13 of their last 18 on the road, led 1-0 in the first after Jeff McNeil doubled, stole third and scored on a groundout. Atlanta went up 2-1 in the bottom half on Freeman's 21st homer.

New York tied it 2-all in the fourth when Ramos doubled and scored on Rosario's double.

Pinch-hitter Nick Markakis' two-run double in the eighth made it 7-2.

After losing two of three in Atlanta, the Mets fell to fourth place in the NL East and dropped 8 1/2 games back in the division.

''Our record is what our record is,'' New York manager Mickey Callaway said of his team's 35-39 mark. ''We're concerned what we're doing. It's not fun to be in fourth place. No, we don't want to be there.''

ROLLING BRAVES

Freeman has 23 RBIs in June, most in the majors, and has 14 homers in his last 32 games. ... Donaldson has a season-high nine-game hitting streak with six homers during that stretch. ... Atlanta has at least two homers in six straight games. ... The Braves won eight games on a homestand for the first time since 2012 against Philadelphia, Miami and Houston.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb was placed on the seven-day concussion list and will make a rehab appearance before he's ready to return. ... CF Ender Inciarte will report to extended spring training to resume baseball activities. He has missed 33 games with a lumbar strain and will need to play several rehab games before he's ready to return in a few weeks.

NEW ADDITION

The Mets signed second-round draft pick Josh Wolf, a high school pitcher from Texas. The 18-year-old had a 1.52 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 69 innings this season.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Walter Lockett will make a spot start in his New York debut Thursday at Wrigley Field opposite Cubs RHP Tyler Chatwood. Lockett went 0-1 with a 3.28 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance with Triple-A Syracuse.

Braves: LHP Dallas Keuchel is set to make his 2019 debut Friday in Washington against RHP Stephen Strasburg. Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts last year for Houston.

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