The Braves’ offense clicked for the first time in weeks, scoring 20 runs in a rout of the first-place Mets, winning 20-2 Wednesday night at Truist Park.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. After allowing a two-run home run to Pete Alonso in the top of the first, Braves starter Max Fried calmed down and had one of his best outings of the season. His command was strong, his fastball was working and he finished with seven strikeouts while allowing just five baserunners in five innings.
It was his first game off the injured list, where he’d been since June 18 due to a blister on his hand. With Wednesday’s outing, he’s 5-4 on the season with a 4.16 ERA.
“He wasn’t off that long, he just missed one start,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He threw the ball really well. It worked out really good, too, so that we could get him out of the game quick and not stress his finger anymore.”
Perhaps the most impressive moment of the lefty’s night came in the top of the fifth inning right after he allowed his first hit in four innings. With a man on first, Jeff McNeil hit a ball right at Fried, who threw it to Dansby Swanson to convert a double play.
2. With the Braves down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Ronald Acuña Jr. stared down David Peterson’s third pitch of the game and launched his 22nd homer of the season over the left-field wall. Freddie Freeman hit a single to shallow right field on the next pitch and Ozzie Albies brought the Braves’ first baseman home on an RBI single after Freeman reached second via a wild pitch.
With a lead in hand after a two-run third inning, the Braves really poured it on the fourth by batting around. The Mets used two relievers to try and slow down the damage, but the home team was taking out the offensive frustration that had been building over the past few weeks.
“When one guy does (hit well), it’s amazing how it relaxes everyone,” Snitker said. “I can’t explain it, but it’s the way it happens.”
By the time the final out was recorded with Guillermo Heredia attempting to make it home after a wild pitch, the Braves scored seven runs, five of them earned, to make it an 11-2 game.
3. All nine starters reached base and scored a run and eight of them had hits (Fried’s bunt was ruled a fielder’s choice). Albies had a career-high five hits and Freeman and Austin Riley each had three.
It was the kind of offensive performance that the Braves have enjoyed just once this year — a 20-run slugfest against National League bottom-dweller Pittsburgh.
4. The bullpen held strong. In his second outing of the season, reliever Jesse Chavez continued Fried’s efficient night on the mound. In two innings, the 37-year-old did not allow any baserunners and had four strikeouts.
Josh Tomlin and Edgar Santana combined to give up just one walk and one hit in the final two innings.
5. Albies recorded seven RBIs, giving him 29 in June. Prior to this month he had 27. He had two home runs, both of them soaring way over the wall.
The second baseman also had several key catches that helped keep the Mets from getting any momentum.
Braves 20, Mets 2 (box score)
Stat to know
20 (The Braves have scored 20 runs twice this season. They scored just 25 runs in the previous 11 games.)
“It’s amazing what he keeps doing. Right-handed, this kid is about as good as anyone in the league.” - Snitker on Ozzie Albies’ big month
Braves right-handed pitcher Ian Anderson (5-4, 3.42) will get the start Thursday against Mets righty Jacob deGrom (7-2, 0.69) at 7:20 p.m.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com