ATLANTA – Jeff Francoeur hit a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning off Braves closer Billy Wagner and the New York Mets snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.
The Braves have lost three of four and now lead second-place Philadelphia, a 6-1 winner at Florida, by two games in the NL East. Atlanta's 35-14 record at home, where they had won 25 of 32, leads the majors.
Fourth-place New York avoided falling under .500 for the first time since May 23.
Reliever Manny Acosta (2-1) earned the win after allowing one hit and three walks in 1 2-3 innings.
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save in 28 chances.
Wagner (5-2) gave up one hit and one run with one strikeout.
Francoeur, who was traded from his hometown Braves to the Mets last year, is hitting .125 in 40 at-bats since the All-Star break. The homer was his 10th.
Melky Cabrera drove in Atlanta's first two runs with an RBI fielder's choice grounder in the second and a RBI triple in the sixth.
Reliever Kyle Farnsworth, pitching in his first game since the Braves acquired him in a deadline deal with Kansas City, spoiled Derek Lowe's chance to win for just the second time in eight starts.
Farnsworth blew a 2-1 lead when Francoeur walked on four pitches, moved to second on Luis Castillo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chris Carter's pinch-hit RBI single.
The Mets are 6-16 in their last 22 road games.
R.A. Dickey's streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings, which began June 20 at Arizona, ended when the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second.
Alex Gonzalez, who was hit by a pitch, moved to third on Rick Ankiel's single. He scored on Cabrera's fielder's choice RBI, thanks in part to a hard slide into second by Ankiel that disrupted shortstop Jose Reyes' throw to first.
New York tied it 1-1 in the third when Castillo reached on a bunt single, moved to second on Dickey's sacrifice bunt and scored on Reyes' RBI double.
Dickey struck out Eric Hinske to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, but Cabrera's RBI triple put the Braves ahead 2-1 in the sixth.
Dickey allowed five hits, two runs, four walks and struck out two in six innings.
Atlanta had lost six of Lowe's last seven starts, but the right-hander issued no walks for the first time since Sept. 21 in an 11-3 win over the Mets.
Lowe gave up six hits, one hit and struck out three.
Home plate umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck decided to continue the game through a light rain in the second, third and fourth innings.
The only hold-up came in the third, lasting about 4 minutes, when Brian McCann accidentally slung his wet bat into the stands along the third-base line. Hirschbeck went to the mound and called for the grounds crew to add dirt on the mound so pitchers would have a dry landing surface.
Farnsworth appeared to have difficulty with the landing surface in the seventh as he used his cleats a couple of times to move dirt back and forth.
Notes: Mets 3B David Wright went 0 for 4 and is hitting .089 in 34 at-bats with no homers and three RBIs this year against Atlanta. In the first six seasons, Wright hit .295 with 23 homers and 55 RBIs against the Braves. ... New York manager Jerry Manuel said Castillo, who began the night with a .190 average over his previous 42 at-bats, took early batting practice. Castillo finished 2 for 3. ... Braves 1B Troy Glaus pinch-hit for Hinske and grounded into a double play to end the seventh. Since June 13, Glaus' is hitting .091 in 228 at-bats.