NEW YORK -- Braves manager Brian Snitker didn't have to see the latest highlight of Nick Markakis' resurgent season."All I had to do was hear it," Snitker said after Markakis' game-winning homer led the Braves to a 5-4, 10-inning win over the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field. "It was
NEW YORK -- Braves manager Brian Snitker didn't have to see the latest highlight of Nick Markakis' resurgent season.
"All I had to do was hear it," Snitker said after Markakis' game-winning homer led the Braves to a 5-4, 10-inning win over the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field. "It was an explosion."
Snitker was in conversation with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez when Markakis swung, his team in jeopardy of settling for a split after blowing a ninth-inning lead. When he looked up, they were ahead, Markakis' 10th-inning blast off Tyler Bashlor having just settled beyond the right-center-field wall. Rookie left-hander Jesse Biddle then worked around trouble to secure his first career save and send the Braves out of Queens winners of three of four. They improved to 12-4 against the Mets this season.
Markakis' heroics capped a four-hit day for the right fielder, who now paces the National League with 135 hits. The 34-year-old is hitting .319, good for second in the Senior Circuit.
"He's a machine, that's all I can say," Snitker said. "It's not a mistake that he's doing this. … It's a lot of hard work every day on his part that's led to this."
Markakis denied feeling any pressure after his sensational first half, which earned him All-Star recognition for the first time in 13 big league seasons.
"I have to just keep doing what I do," Markakis said. "Stay within myself. I know what kind of hitter and player I am, and I try not to stray too far away from that."
On this day, Markakis paced an offense that spent the entire afternoon fighting back. Down 3-0 after four innings, Atlanta erased that deficit on home runs from Julio Teheran -- the first of his big league career -- in the fifth and Ender Inciarte in the seventh. Ronald Acuna Jr. then plated Inciarte with a go-ahead single in the ninth before A.J. Minter blew his first save in place of the injured Arodys Vizcaino.
"Today we were able to put together good at-bats and we never gave up," said Inciarte, who said he predicted his two-run shot against Mets starter Corey Oswalt. "That's the way to do it."
Previously perfect in eight chances, Minter allowed a game-tying homer to Devin Mesoraco, a shot that barely cleared the orange home run marker atop the left-field wall and required a crew-chief review after initially being ruled a double. Thus snapped a streak of 10 scoreless innings by Atlanta's revamped relief corps, which has been one of baseball's best over the last month. A big part of that has been Biddle, who stranded the tying run at third by retiring Jose Bautista and Todd Frazier on groundouts end the game.
"That is what we work for in the bullpen," Biddle said. "I want the ball in my hands in those situations."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Teheran tomahawks one: Teheran excelled in a different way Sunday than he usually does at Citi Field, where he hasn't lost a game in more than three years. Comparing that with the time elapsed since his last home run, which came during Teheran's high school days in Colombia, his teammates saw cause for celebration when he swatted a high Oswalt fastball out to left field in the fifth.
"They were waiting for me to get pumped up, but I wasn't happy with the way I was pitching," said Teheran, who walked four and allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings. "I feel more comfortable hitting right now."
Teheran entered the day a career .153 hitter with just five extra-base hits in 384 plate appearances. More >
Teheran became the first Braves pitcher to circle the bases in more than a year; the last was Jaime Garcia on July 21, 2017, against the Dodgers. Before that, no Braves pitcher had homered since Mike Minor on July 12, 2014.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Braves turned two the hard way in the sixth, and in doing so, shaved a potential Mets insurance run off the board. With first and third and no out, Teheran induced a two-hopper to third off the bat of Bautista. Johan Camargo fielded, then fired to second to retire the lead runner. But Wilmer Flores, running at third, hesitated to take off for home. Noticing this, Ozzie Albies came across the second-base bag to receive Camargo's throw, then tossed home to retire Flores on the back end. It technically went as a 5-4-2 double play for Bautista, and kept the score steady at 3-1.
"Really heads up on Ozzie's part," Snitker said.
HE SAID IT
"I told Camargo, 'Try to get on base, because I'm going to hit a home run today.' Sometimes the mouth has a lot of power." -- Inciarte, on his prescience
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Umpires conferenced briefly after Mesoraco's game-tying homer in the ninth, which clanged back onto the field of play. After a 48-second review, the call on the field of a double was overturned, as the ball was determined to have hit a second wall just beyond Citi Field's orange home run line, not the padded in-play fence below it. That allowed Mesoraco to finish his trot around the bases and send the game to extras.
The Braves get an off-day Monday before embarking on the most rigorous stretch of their schedule -- 48 games in a 48-day span beginning with a day-night doubleheader Tuesday in Washington. Max Fried (1-4, 3.38 ERA) will get the nod in Game 1 at 1:05 p.m. ET, while Sean Newcomb (10-5, 3.23) starts the second game at 7:05. It will be Newcomb's first outing since coming an out away from a no-hitter last weekend against the Dodgers. Rookie right-hander Jefry Rodriguez (0-1, 6.86) opposes Fried, while the Nats are scheduled to run out Max Scherzer (15-5, 2.33) in Game 2.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.