Resurgent rookie Jason Heyward's 4 hits, 4 RBIs lead first-place Braves past Mets, 9-3

Jason Heyward is recovering his power stroke just in time for the Atlanta Braves' September push for the playoffs.

Heyward homered and drove in four runs, Martin Prado drove in three runs and the NL East-leading Braves beat the New York Mets 9-3 on Monday night.

Heyward had four hits, including a three-run homer off Pat Misch in the second inning. He has five homers in August after hitting only one total in June and July, when he was slowed by a thumb injury.

Jair Jurrjens (6-4) gave up six hits and matched his career high with six walks, but his eight strikeouts helped him limit the Mets to three runs in 5 2-3 innings.

Heyward, a rookie who was voted an All-Star starter, has 16 homers and 62 RBIs and is hitting .278 — his high mark since June 3. The four hits and four RBIs each matched Heyward's career high.

Prado had two hits, including a two-run single in the sixth. Each of the first five hitters in Atlanta's lineup had two or more hits.

One day after his homer in the bottom of the ninth capped the Braves' 7-6 comeback win over Florida, Brian McCann padded the lead with a shot deep into the right-field seats off Oliver Perez in the seventh.

Misch (0-4) gave up eight hits and five runs in three innings for the Mets, who opened a 10-game road trip with the first of four games against the Braves.

Jurrjens gave up two hits — including Josh Thole's run-scoring triple — and two walks in the sixth, when the Mets cut the Braves' lead to 5-3.

Manager Bobby Cox pulled Jurrjens after the right-hander walked Luis Castillo to load the bases. Chris Carter ended the inning with a groundout against left-hander Eric O'Flaherty.

The Braves stretched the lead with three runs off Manny Acosta in the sixth. Heyward's single drove in Rick Ankiel. Heyward scored from first on a headfirst slide across home plate on Prado's two-run single. Omar Infante, who walked, also scored on Prado's hit.

Heyward and Infante each scored three runs.

Angel Pagan and Luis Hernandez drove in runs in the Mets' two-run second.

Notes: The Braves had 14 hits. ... Heyward also had four hits and four RBIs on Aug. 22 at the Cubs. ... The Braves recalled RHP Kenshin Kawakami from Triple-A Gwinnett. The team optioned RHP Cristhian Martinez to Gwinnett. Cox said Kawakami will work out of the bullpen but could fill in as a starter. ... RHP Derek Lowe plans to throw his regular side session on Tuesday. He appeared to have difficulty keeping his arm loose as he gave up six hits and five runs in three innings against Florida on Sunday. He deflected questions about his arm after the game and again on Monday. ... A fan in the right-field seats threw a half-empty plastic bottle near former Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur in the sixth.