Ronald Acuña Jr. got four hits and robbed Pete Alonso of a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves built a big early lead and beat the New York Mets 9-6 on Friday night to rebound quickly in their NL East showdown.
Eddie Rosario hit a three-run homer in the first inning and an RBI double in the second to help the Braves open an 8-0 cushion. Rookie center fielder Michael Harris II also went deep and threw out a runner at the plate.
William Contreras added a solo homer in the ninth, and the Braves avoided their first three-game losing streak of the year. The last team to go this deep into a season without a three-game skid was the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who set the major league mark by not losing three in a row until a four-game slide from games Nos. 147-150, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Mets starter Taijuan Walker (9-3) managed only three outs in a rare but untimely flop, and his teammates were unable to recover. Atlanta moved back within 3 1/2 games of first-place New York after dropping the opener of the five-game series Thursday night.
Walker gave up a one-out double to Dansby Swanson in the first, then caught his spike on the mound during an aborted delivery to Matt Olson. The baseball fell out of Walker’s hands and dribbled toward the plate for a ball, and the right-hander never looked right after that.
He was checked by pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and an athletic trainer. Walker threw a warmup pitch and remained in the game, but allowed an RBI double to Olson and hit Austin Riley with a pitch before Rosario sent a 1-2 splitter into the right-field seats for his third homer this season.
Alonso tried to get the Mets right back in it in the bottom half, but Acuña leaped above the right-field wall to make a terrific catch. He pounded his chest, and Braves starter Ian Anderson raised his arm in celebration.
Harris led off the second with his 10th home run and Walker permitted four straight hits before he was pulled. He was charged with eight runs and seven hits as his ERA rose from 2.79 to 3.45.
New York cut it to 8-5 and chased Anderson in a four-run fifth that included a two-run double by pinch-hitter Darin Ruf in his first Mets plate appearance after being acquired from San Francisco at Tuesday’s trade deadline. Pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar had an RBI single.
Anderson was removed one out short of qualifying for a win. A.J. Minter (5-3) struck out three in 1 1/3 perfect innings, and Raisel Iglesias whiffed two in a scoreless eighth after giving up a leadoff double.
It was Iglesias’ debut with the Braves after he was obtained from the Angels just before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Jeff McNeil homered off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth and had two RBIs for the Mets.
Braves: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left calf) was set to begin a rehab assignment at High A Rome. O’Day has been sidelined since July 12. … RHP Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery) will pitch again Sunday for Triple-A Gwinnett. Yates threw in back-to-back games for Gwinnett on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in August 2020.
The teams play a day-night doubleheader Saturday, though neither had announced the order of their starting pitchers.
RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.75 ERA) makes his Atlanta debut in one game, and LHP Max Fried (10-3, 2.58) will start the other. Odorizzi was acquired from Houston for reliever Will Smith at Tuesday’s trade deadline.
RHP Max Scherzer (7-2, 2.13) and LHP David Peterson (5-2, 3.54) are scheduled to pitch for New York.