Dansby Swanson, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Harris II and Robbie Grossman hit home runs as the Atlanta Braves defeated the host Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Friday night for their eighth consecutive victory.
The result allowed the Braves (87-51) to take sole possession of first place in the National League East for the first time all year. Atlanta moved past the New York Mets (87-52) by a half-game after trailing by 10 1/2 games at the start of June and by seven games through Aug. 10.
Carlos Santana homered twice and J.P. Crawford also went deep for Seattle, which lost its second in a row and dropped into the American League’s third wild-card position. The Mariners (77-61) still have a four-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles (73-65) for the league’s last playoff berth.
Atlanta starter Charlie Morton (8-5) got the victory. The right-hander gave up four runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.
Raisel Iglesias struck out Santana with a runner on first to end the eighth, and Kenley Jansen worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 33rd save.
Mariners left-hander Robbie Ray (12-9) allowed more runs (four) than he in total while winning each of his previous four starts (three). Ray went five innings and gave up eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The teams traded two-run homers in the opening two innings.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. singled to center field on the game’s first pitch, stole second and scored on Swanson’s blast to center.
The Mariners tied it in the second as Jesse Winker drew a one-out walk and Santana followed with a drive to right.
The Braves regained the lead in the fourth. Harris led off with a double to left, took third on Marcell Ozuna’s flyout to center and scored as Grossman lined a single to left, the lone run that didn’t come via the long ball.
With two outs in the fifth, d’Arnaud hit a solo shot to right-center to extend Atlanta’s advantage to 4-2.
The Mariners got a run back in the bottom of the inning on Crawford’s two-out homer to right.
Harris led off the sixth by going deep to left off reliever Matthew Festa, and Grossman homered to right an out later to make it 6-3.
Santana led off the bottom of the seventh with his second homer of the night, a shot to right-center.