Braves edge Mets to take first place in NL East

Braves edge Mets to take first place in NL East

Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley and Matt Olson produced a second straight big night Saturday, combining for seven hits and all four RBIs as the host Atlanta Braves took over first place in the National League East by beating the New York Mets 4-2.

The Braves (99-59) have won the first two games of the three-game series to move past the Mets (98-60) atop the NL East. Atlanta, which has gone 76-32 since June 1 to make up a 10 1/2-game deficit, has spent just two days with sole possession of the division lead — 166 fewer days than New York has spent alone in first place.

The two wins by the Braves have tied the season series at 9-9. Whomever wins Sunday’s finale will have the tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record.

Swanson, Riley and Olson, all of whom hit solo homers in the Braves’ 5-2 win on Friday night, are batting a combined .478 (11-for-23) with five homers and seven RBIs in the series.

As they did Friday, the Mets took an early lead Saturday, this time by loading the bases against Kyle Wright before Eduardo Escobar hit into a run-scoring groundout in the first.

The Braves began coming back against Max Scherzer in the fourth inning, when Riley laced a leadoff double and scored on Olson’s single. The Mets built a two-out rally in the top of the fifth on three straight singles, including an RBI base hit by Jeff McNeil.

But the Braves responded immediately. After Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a one-out single, Swanson followed with a long homer to center. Olson homered leading off the sixth.

Wright (21-5), the major league leader in wins, allowed the two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three over five innings. A quartet of relievers limited the Mets to one hit over the final four innings, with Kenley Jansen striking out two in a perfect ninth to earn his 39th save.

Scherzer (11-5) gave up the four runs on nine hits and no walks while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings.

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