Atlanta 7, NY Mets 3
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, September 19, 2016
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York
Bill Miller, 1B -
Tony Randazzo, 2B -
Chris Segal, 3B -
NEW YORK -- Freddie Freeman has been the equal to Chipper Jones as the face of the Atlanta Braves in every way except bravado. So don't expect the easy-going first baseman to pay homage to his road dominance of the New York Mets by doctoring the birth certificate of his newborn son to include "Citi Field" in the name.
An exhausted Freeman had yet another impressive game at Citi Field Monday night, when the new dad went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs as the Braves cruised past the National League wild-card-leading Mets, 7-3.
Freeman's wife, Chelsea, gave birth to the couple's first child, Frederick Charles Freeman II, on Thursday. Mother and son were released from the hospital Sunday, and Freeman joined his wife and son in spending the family's first night at home before flying to New York late Monday morning.
"That doesn't mean I got any sleep last night," Freeman said with a tired grin. "Because my son was screaming his head off."
The lack of sleep didn't seem to impact Freeman on Monday night. After grounding out on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, Freeman homered in the third and laced a two-run double in the fourth before singling and scoring in the seventh and singling in the eighth.
"I've got nothing left, I left it all out there," Freeman said. "I can hardly think right now. Pretty exhausted. I'm looking forward to hitting that bed tonight."
He also seems to look forward to hitting against the Mets. The big night extended a pair of streaks for Freeman -- he has a hit in 23 straight games and has reached base in 39 consecutive games. He also lifted his on-base-plus-slugging percentage at Citi Field to .922, his highest mark at any park in which he has at least 100 at-bats.
Freeman has 39 RBIs at Citi Field, his most at any road ballpark, and eight homers, second most behind Nationals Park.
"I (do) nothing different," Freeman said of his Citi Field approach. "There's really nothing to it. I've been kind of in a groove for a while now. Haven't gotten out of it yet. Just nice to be able to keep it going."
So will Freeman follow in the footsteps of his best friend Jones and modify the name of his son in honor of Citi Field? Jones, who played his entire 18-season career with the Braves before retiring in 2012, named his third son Shea as a tribute to the Mets' former home. Jones hit 19 homers at Shea Stadium, his highest total in any road ballpark.
"No, no, no," Freeman said with a laugh. "You guys aren't going to get me to say anything about that."
Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte each had RBI singles in the second inning. Swanson capped the Braves' scoring with his third hit, a two-run single in the seventh.
Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp each went 2-for-5 to extend their hitting streaks to 11 games for the Braves (59-91), who have won three straight.
Rookie right-hander Aaron Blair earned his first major league win after allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He issued one walk while striking out four. Blair entered the game 0-6 with an 8.23 ERA in 12 career starts.
T.J. Rivera hit a two-run homer while James Loney and Curtis Granderson each had three hits for the Mets (80-70), who hold a one-game lead on both the San Francisco Giants (79-71) and the St. Louis Cardinals (79-71) in the race for the NL's first wild card.
Mets All-Star right-hander Noah Syndergaard took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five over 3 2/3 innings. Syndergaard (13-9) threw just 10 pitches in a perfect first inning but threw 89 additional pitches to get only eight more outs.
"That's completely out of character," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You're hoping, 'Hey, look, maybe he gets it going where he can give us five or six innings.' Just never was able to get it back."
The Mets, who needed five relievers to get the final 13 outs Sunday in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins, had to rely on five pitchers to throw the final 5 1/3 innings Monday.
"We (had) to do some things we certainly weren't planning on," Collins said.
NOTES: Despite several hours of rain earlier in the afternoon, the game started as scheduled at 7:10 p.m. EDT. ... Mets LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder) is expected to throw a bullpen session at Citi Field on Wednesday. If it goes well, Matz could start Friday. ... Mets LF Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup after leaving Sunday's game after six innings because of nausea and dizziness. He went 0-for-4. ... Braves RHP Ryan Weber will start the series finale Wednesday. It will be the second start of the season for Weber, who allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings in relief of RHP John Gant on Friday. ... The Braves' hotel in New York City is the same one hosting various world leaders attending the U.N. General Assembly.
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