ATLANTA -- When the Braves responded to an eight-run deficit by tallying six runs in the fifth inning on Friday night, they showed some of the same resiliency that has enabled them to finally have some fun over the past week. But their one flash of offensive production was not
ATLANTA -- When the Braves responded to an eight-run deficit by tallying six runs in the fifth inning on Friday night, they showed some of the same resiliency that has enabled them to finally have some fun over the past week. But their one flash of offensive production was not enough to erase the damage Aaron Blair incurred during an 8-6 loss to the Mets.
"They just kept battling in the six-run inning," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Guys were banging the ball around and didn't get down, which would have been easy to do."
Given that they'd lost 10 of their past 12, it would have been easy for the Braves to fold their tents after they surrendered a pair of runs to the Reds in the 13th inning of a June 15 game. But they tallied three runs in the bottom half of that inning and entered Friday having won seven of the eight games that followed.
Some of their recent joy evaporated as they generated one baserunner through the first four innings against Steven Matz while also watching the Mets tag Blair for eight runs over 4 1/3 frames. But this Atlanta club that has endured much mental strife throughout this season instead showed more fight as it recorded eight hits and tallied six runs before Matz exited with one out in the fifth inning.
Jeff Francoeur, Nick Markakis and Adonis Garcia opened the fifth inning with three consecutive doubles. Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes aided this rally when he lost Markakis' routine fly ball in the lights. But for the most part, the Braves had their way against Matz, who incurred his most costly blow when Brandon Snyder came off the bench to drill an opposite-field three-run home run.
"In that situation, with runners on first and third in the middle of a rally, you're just trying to square the ball up and try to get that run in from third," Snyder said. "Being ahead in the count, I faced him in New York and just tried to look for a fastball away and put a good swing on it."
The Braves recorded eight hits within their first nine at-bats of the fifth inning and just three others within their other 27 at-bats of the night. Still, after their bullpen ran its scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings, there was a chance to win it in the ninth when Mets closer Jeurys Familia put two on with none out.
But Chase d'Arnaud lined a sacrifice-bunt attempt that unfortunately for the Braves fell out of a diving Wilmer Flores' glove near third base. Flores stepped on third base for one out and then threw to second base to force out Erick Aybar, who had thought the ball had been caught and stayed on first.
"That's one of those things that happens," Snitker said. "What are you going to do? [Flores] comes in and it surprised me when he dropped it. The runners were just dead in the water there."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.