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From ouch to oh, wow! Freeman drives in 5 off bench as Braves stun NL East-leading Mets 6-3


NEW YORK — Freddie Freeman's right wrist looked just fine.

The Braves slugger was supposed to get Wednesday night off to rest his sore joint. Instead, he matched a career high with five RBIs, hitting a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning after doubling in two as a pinch hitter in the seventh to lead Atlanta to a 6-3 win over the New York Mets.

"The wrist has been bothering me for a couple of weeks now and it's definitely worse," Freeman said. "I just have to muster up and play through it, and I told Skip before the game that if a big situation comes up, I'll go up and hit."

He got two huge hits after the Braves fell behind 2-0 against Bartolo Colon. Atlanta beat the Mets for the second straight night, giving the Braves five wins in 26 games away from home since July 27.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez hoped to give Freeman two days off — the Braves have an off day Thursday — before opening a series at Miami. Freeman spent more than six weeks on the disabled list this summer because of a wrist injury.

"Our training staff did a terrific job," Gonzalez said. "We gave him enough time to get warmed up when we had to use him."

David Wright had a tying, two-out single off Brandon Cuniff in the seventh after the Braves scored three times in the top half to take a 3-2 lead. But closer Jeurys Familia failed in the ninth as the NL East leaders finished 3-6 on their penultimate set at Citi Field.

New York stayed 6 1/2 games in front of second-place Washington, whose 4-3 loss to Baltimore trimmed the Mets' magic number to five for clinching the division title.

Freeman had a two-run double and Michael Bourn singled in a run off Addison Reed after Colon was lifted with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh.

Mets manager Terry Collins brought in his closer to maintain the tie, but Familia gave up a one-out single to Cameron Maybin and walked Bourn.

Freeman, who appeared to have a testy conversation with Wright at first base in the bottom of the seventh after the New York captain's hit tied it, launched a drive deep into the stands in left-center for the first homer off Familia (2-2) in 28 appearances.

"Freddie is a thorn in our side," Wright said. "It was fun to get that competitiveness back and forth. I wasn't expecting to see him tonight and he comes off the bench and kills us again."

PHOTO: New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon delivers the ball to the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon delivers the ball to the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Said a smiling Freeman: "I have no idea what was said. It was in a very playful manner, I promise you that."

Edwin Jackson (2-2) got one out for the win. Arodys Vizcaino worked the ninth for his seventh save.

Colon held the Braves without a baserunner until there were two outs in the fifth, but A.J. Pierzynski and Andrelton Simmons started the seventh with singles off the 42-year-old right-hander. After an out, Maybin singled to chase Colon.

Reed has not yielded a run for New York since being acquired on Aug. 30, but he's allowed all five inherited runners to score.

Colon was charged with five hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings. He was looking to reach 15 wins for a third straight season in his 40s.

Braves starter Williams Perez gave up two early runs, a homer to Daniel Murphy in the first and an RBI single to Ruben Tejada an inning later, but settled in through six.

The Mets helped him out, though, stranding Yoenis Cespedes following a two-out triple in the third. Colon bunted into a double play in the fourth.


Braves first baseman Nick Swisher, who played four seasons for the Yankees, had No. 8 written on the side of his hat in honor of Yogi Berra, who died Tuesday night.


Mets: RHP Carlos Torres (left calf) will do fielding drills off the mound Thursday to see how close he is to being available again out of the bullpen.


Braves: Ryan Weber began the season in Double-A. On Friday, he makes his fourth big league start, at Miami. Jose Fernandez will be trying to improve to a major league-record 17-0 at home to start his career.

Mets: LHP Steven Matz makes his sixth career start. He's the first Mets pitcher to allow two runs or fewer in each of his first five. He faces the Reds, the team he beat in his big league debut.

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