Braves play long ball vs. Jacob deGrom in series-opener win over Mets

Needing a victory in the opener of a key three-game series against the Mets, the Braves did what they do best - hit home runs.

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Austin Riley and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers in the second inning, and Dansby Swanson added a solo shot in the seventh as the Braves beat the Mets 5-2 on Friday night at Truist Park. The win moved the Braves into a first-place tie with the Mets in the National League East with two games remaining in the series and five overall in the regular season.

The Braves trailed 1-0 in the second when Riley drilled a solo homer to center off Mets star Jacob deGrom to tie the score.

“Guys like deGrom you can’t really miss those pitches,” Riley said of his 38th homer of the season.

The lively Friday night crowd was whipped into a frenzy as Olson followed Riley with a 430-foot home run that sailed over the Braves’ bullpen for a 2-1 lead.

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“You come to expect it here, a lot of energy, place is packed,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s like a playoff series here. It has been packed all year.”

Swanson’s home run off deGrom in the seventh was his 23rd of the season and the 100th of his career. It also was the 237th of the season for the Braves, the National League leader in home runs by a large margin.

“It was awesome,” Snitker said of Swanson’s 100th home run. “It’s a big milestone. How he has grown and matured, I have been fortunate to watch it all.”

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The Braves added two runs - one on Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly and another on Orlando Arcia’s RBI double - following Swanson’s homer in the seventh and watched closer Kenley Jansen strike out the last two batters in the ninth for the crucial win.

The NL East front-runners will meet again Saturday and Sunday – two games that could go a long way in determining the eventual division champion.

“To get the first one is huge,” Riley said. “Going to try and build the most momentum off of it as possible.”