Francisco Cervelli fit right in Saturday night.

The newly signed Cervelli had three hits and three RBIs in his debut, and the Braves beat the New York Mets 9-5 for their seventh straight victory.

"He was excited about getting here - and it showed," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, and recent addition Billy Hamilton dashed home with another run on the play thanks to a mental lapse by Mets left fielder J.D. Davis.

Freddie Freeman launched his career-high 35th home run in the ninth. Freeman, who began the day leading the majors in RBIs, increased his season total to 105.

Along with Cervelli and Hamilton, substitute shortstop Adeiny Hechavarra was picked up not long ago. That trio and three key relievers acquired at the July 31 trade deadline have given the Braves a huge boost over the past two nights and beyond.

"All the new guys were - golly!" Snitker said.

Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson also went deep for the NL East leaders, each connecting on a solo shot in the third off starter Zack Wheeler. Atlanta improved to 10-5 this year against the Mets, who remained two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card.

Rookie slugger Pete Alonso matched a Mets record with his 41st home run, a three-run shot that put New York ahead 5-4 in the fifth after trailing 4-0. But third baseman Todd Frazier was unable to snag Cervelli's hard one-hopper in the sixth, a two-base error that led to Cervelli scoring the tying run on Rafael Ortega's single.

After recovering from yet another concussion, Cervelli played his first major league game since May 25. The veteran backstop stroked a two-run double on the second pitch he saw for a 2-0 lead in the second.

"I was playing like a little kid," Cervelli said. "That's all that matters, man. From now on, just enjoy every game, every opportunity, and do what I have to do."

He singled his next time up and added an RBI double to deep center in the ninth.

"Hasn't played in three months, comes out and gets three knocks. Just makes it look that easy," Hamilton said.

From his knees, Cervelli also threw out Amed Rosario trying to steal second in a tie game in the seventh.

"After he got that hit in the second inning I just said, 'Well, just get a new guy every single day,'" Freeman said, adding that the recent additions are energizing the entire clubhouse. "It's been pretty amazing."

Cervelli, released Thursday by Pittsburgh, signed with the Braves earlier in the day to help fill in with Brian McCann on the injured list.

Josh Tomlin (2-1) tossed two scoreless innings for the win.

Ortega sparked Atlanta's two-out rally in the eighth with a single against Brad Brach (4-4) that went off the glove of a leaping Jeff McNeil at second base. The speedy Hamilton followed with a pinch-hit single and scored from third when Davis held the ball after Acuna's single and then lobbed it back to the infield, drawing boos from the crowd of 38,300.

"This is definitely fun. I keep getting a chance to play and I keep having fun with it," said Hamilton, who hit a go-ahead single in the 14th inning of Friday night's victory for his first hit with Atlanta.

Davis called it a "helpless" feeling.

"That's my fault. I should be throwing into (Rosario at shortstop) right away instead of picking up the runner at first," Davis said.

Braves starter Max Fried, handed a 4-0 lead and looking for his 15th win, allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings.

Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.14 ERA) tries to pitch the Braves to a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon. Steven Matz (8-7, 4.18) starts for the Mets.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X