Atlanta 9, NY Mets 7
When: 7:35 PM ET, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Where: SunTrust Park, Cumberland, Georgia
David Rackley, 1B -
Larry Vanover, 2B -
Alfonso Marquez, 3B -
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves got the best of Matt Harvey for the second time in less than a week, again scoring six runs against the New York Mets right-hander.
Ender Inciarte had three hits and drove in three runs, and Freddie Freeman started Harvey's downfall with his 10th homer of the season in the first inning as the Braves defeated the Mets 9-7 on Tuesday night.
"What made him so good was great stuff and great command. Right now, the stuff is coming back, but the command isn't there," Mets manager Terry Collins of Harvey's rough outings against the Braves.
"It's real inconsistent. He's throwing hard, but he has to get the off-speed stuff over. Otherwise, hitters are going to sit on the fastball. He's getting too much of the plate."
New York's Jay Bruce made it close as he blasted a grand slam, his second homer of the game, with two outs in the ninth off Matt Wisler, but the deficit was too much for the Mets to overcome. Jim Johnson came in to strike out Neil Walker and record his fifth save.
Braves starter R.A. Dickey gave up a two-run homer to Bruce and a bases-empty blast to Asdrubal Cabrera on fastballs, but that was the only damage as the knuckleballer improved to 4-0 against the team he won a National League Cy Young Award with in 2012.
Dickey (3-2) allowed three runs and four hits, walked four and hit a batter in six innings while beating the Mets for the second time this season. He also was matched up against Harvey last Thursday.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I probably only had a 4 knuckleball. I didn't really have a good one," Dickey said. "I tried to manage the game by changing speeds on it a bunch.
"I gave in a couple of times and threw some cookie fastballs that they hit homers on. But they weren't squaring the knuckleball up for the most part, and I should have been stubborn with it."
In New York last Thursday, Harvey gave up six runs on five hits and five walks over 4 1/3 innings as a late fill-in for Noah Syndergaard. This time, Harvey (2-2) had plenty of advance notice, but he allowed eight hits, walked three and hit a batter over 5 1/3 innings.
After missing the last three months a year ago and needing shoulder surgery, Harvey is trying to get his mechanics and touch on his pitches back. Despite the second straight loss to the Braves, he wasn't discouraged.
"Today was the best I've felt in a long time. The ball was coming out better than it had for a few years," Harvey said. "I just have to locate. It's fine tuning that. The velocity was there the whole time and I was able to repeat things the right way."
Dickey drove in his fifth run of the season with a bases-loaded high chopper, and Inciarte followed with a two-run single as the Braves broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run fourth against Harvey.
The teams traded two-run homers in the first inning, with Bruce connecting to right-center field on a 1-0 fastball from Dickey that didn't surprise the slugger and Freeman depositing a 3-2 slider from Harvey into the upper level of the Chop House in right.
The Braves (11-14) went ahead in the second inning on a two-out RBI double by Inciarte. The Mets (11-15) tied it in the third on Cabrera's leadoff homer to right-center on a 3-1 count when Dickey again went to an 80-mph fastball instead of his knuckler.
The Braves tacked on three runs in the seventh off the Mets bullpen, as Adonis Garcia and pinch hitter Lane Adams had RBI singles and Dansby Swanson added a sacrifice fly. That proved important when Bruce hit his fifth career grand slam and ninth homer of the season in the ninth.
"We swung the bats good. It was a really good offensive night," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
NOTES: Mets C Travis d'Arnaud left the game in the bottom of the sixth because of a sore right wrist. ... Mets CF Curtis Granderson, batting .122, extended his slump to 0-for-15 and 3-for-49 as he flied out to left field as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. ... INF Wilmer Flores (infected right knee) had his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A Las Vegas, and the Mets hope to activate him this weekend. ... RHP Mauricio Cabrera, out since spring training because of an elbow strain, pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. He could come off the disabled list next week. ... Braves RHP Bartolo Colon (1-2, 5.59 ERA) will face his old team for the second time this season on Wednesday, opposing Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (1-1, 2.84 ERA) in a rematch of April 5 in New York. DeGrom has fanned 35 over three straight double-digit strikeout games.
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