Freddie Freeman went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer and five RBI to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 13-5 rout of the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game set at Turner Field.
Jordan Schafer added four hits, an RBI, two runs scored and three stolen bases for the Braves, winners in seven of their last eight games. Justin Upton collected a pair of hits and scored three times
"I guess we were seeing the ball well. We can really swing the bat well, that is great to see. Freddie is doing what he has been doing all year. We did really well today," said Andrelton Simmons, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Paul Maholm (10-10) allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings for Atlanta. It was his first win since June 30.
Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda each drove in one run apiece for the Mets, who have dropped two straight.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3) was tagged for six runs on seven hits in just three innings of work to remain winless on the season. The Japanese right-hander's last MLB victory came Aug. 27, 2012.
"It was just one of those days where we couldn't get them out and we couldn't drive guys in. Add that up and it is a tough day," said Mets first baseman Josh Satin.
The Braves jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Schafer and Upton opened the frame with back-to-back singles before Freeman smashed a bases-clearing double to right field.
The Mets pushed one across in the second. Lagares led off with a single, then moved to second on Anthony Recker's two-out walk. Matsuzaka helped his own cause with a single to center to push Lagares across.
Atlanta, though, plated four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-1 lead. Simmons reached on a base hit to right and moved to second on Maholm's sacrifice bunt. Schafer followed with a base hit to short right field to bring Simmons around.
Upton then drew a walk before Freeman clobbered a towering homer to deep right field to make it a five-run game.
The Mets added a pair of runs in the fourth to pull within 6-3. With two on and no outs, Zach Lutz doubled off the wall in center field to score Wilmer Flores. Two batters later, Murphy delivered a sacrifice fly to left to score Recker.
Atlanta, though, pushed two runs across in both the fifth and sixth innings to take a 10-3 lead.
In the fifth, Simmons doubled home Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton. In the sixth, Brian McCann laced an RBI single to left, then later scored on a B.J. Upton double.
Duda singled home Eric Young and Murphy scored on a rare Simmons fielding error in the seventh to bring the Mets within 10-5, but Simmons smacked a two- run double and Joey Terdoslavich had a sacrifice fly in the eighth to account for the final difference.
The Braves' last divisional crown came in 2005 ... Atlanta leads the season series, 9-8 ... The Braves went 8-for-20 with runners in scoring position ... Schafer has 20 stolen bases this season ... The Mets were 3-for-13 with RISP ... Matsuzaka is 1-2 with a 9.00 earned run average in three lifetime starts against Atlanta.