Atlanta, GA – David Ross smoked a three-run home run and finished with four RBI as the Atlanta Braves knocked off the New York Mets, 7-5, in the opener of a three-game series at Turner Field.
Ross picked up another RBI on a bases loaded walk and Chipper Jones clubbed a solo home run for the Braves, who have won five straight. Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward also knocked in runs in the victory.
"We haven't played them much this year," Ross said of facing the Mets. "They never give away at-bats, they're tough outs, they grind at-bats, they're really a good team. We took advantage of their pitching mistakes. It was nice that our bullpen came in to pick up Huddy (starter Tim Hudson)."
Cristhian Martinez (4-1) earned the win with an inning of scoreless relief behind Hudson, who allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts over just four-plus innings.
Chris Young (2-3) absorbed the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and three walks over three full frames.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis ripped a two-run single and David Wright finished with a pair of hits for the Mets, who have lost three of their last four games.
The Braves struck first with a pair of runs in their first at-bat. Michael Bourn started the inning with a bang as he led off the frame by ripping a double off the base of the center field wall and scored on a Heyward single two batters later. Heyward stole second before Jones and Freddie Freeman walked to load the bases and Ross drew another free pass to force home Heyward for the 2-0 lead.
Jones roped a one-out double down the right-field line in the Atlanta third, and Freeman followed with a solid base hit to left before Ross got a fastball right down the middle from Young and he hooked it about three rows back in the left field seats to extend the lead to 5-0.
New York got four runs back in the fourth to cut the deficit to one. Wright led off the frame with a double and Lucas Duda walked two batters later. Scott Hairston ripped a run-scoring double and Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to left which scored Duda and Hairston to make it a 5-3 game. Ruben Tejada came through with a two-out RBI single through the right side to score Nieuwenhuis, making it a one-run game.
New York wasted a huge opportunity to take the lead in the fifth. Wright singled to start the inning and Ike Davis drew a walk, knocking Hudson from the game. Martinez came out of the bullpen and walked Duda to load the bases with no outs.
The Braves escaped unscathed though as Martinez fanned Hairston and Nieuwenhuis before getting Josh Thole to fly out to center, ending the inning.
Jones extended the Atlanta lead to 6-4 in the sixth when he got a hold of a fastball from Mets reliever Josh Edgin and deposited it a few rows deep in left-center field. Uggla ripped a run-scoring single back through the box later in the inning to make it 7-4.
"You definitely have to focus," Edgin said of the tough spot he was in to make his major league debut. "I had jitters, but you have to get over them. The team was in a position to win."
Andres Torres ripped a base hit into right in the eighth which scored Ronny Cedeno to cut the Braves' lead to 7-5.
All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth and fanned Wright, Duda and Hairston to collect his 26th save of the season.
Prior to Friday's game, the Braves placed catcher Brian McCann on the paternity list and recalled catcher JC Boscan from Triple-A Gwinnett...The Braves are 11-2 in Friday games this season...New York fell to 20-21 on the road this year...Jones extended his hitting streak to 14 games and with his home run, moved to within one RBI of Royals great George Brett for the most all-time RBI by a third baseman (1,596)...The game was delayed 16 minutes in the fourth inning due to a power failure...Braves shortstop Jack Wilson left the game in the fourth and was replaced by Martin Prado.