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Austin Riley homers twice, Atlanta Braves slug their way past New York Mets

Jul 27, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (27) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (27) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Riley hit a grand slam with one out in the fourth inning and added a two-run shot in the sixth as the visiting Atlanta Braves recorded a 12-5 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

After being held to two runs in Monday’s doubleheader and three runs in their previous three contests following a 15-run showing Saturday, the Braves encountered little difficulty against Jerad Eickhoff (0-2), who was announced as New York’s starter a few hours before first pitch.

Riley gave the Braves a 10-1 lead after the Mets opted to intentionally walk Freddie Freeman. On the next pitch, he blasted a fastball off the facing of the second deck in left field for his second career grand slam.

Riley added his second home run when he hammered a 1-1 pitch from Yennsy Diaz to a similar spot in the second deck of left-center field for a 12-3 edge.

Riley finished with a career-high six RBIs and recorded his third career multi-homer game as the third-place Braves moved back to within four games of the first-place Mets in the NL East.

Before Riley’s two homers, Ozzie Albies and Abraham Almonte also connected for two-run homers. Dansby Swanson drove in Atlanta’s first runs with a two-run double five batters in.

Pete Alonso hit an RBI single and Jeff McNeil extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a two-run homer in the fifth off Charlie Morton (10-3).

Morton allowed three runs on five hits in five innings. He struck out five, walked two and won his fifth straight decision.

Brandon Drury added a two-run homer in the seventh for the Mets that made it 12-5.

Eickhoff, who has been designated for assignment twice and elected free agency twice before being re-signed, allowed a career-high 10 runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. He also walked five as his ERA climbed from 4.96 to 8.69.

It marked the 15th instance a Met allowed at least 10 runs and 12th instance by a New York starter. The most recent occurrence before Tuesday was Noah Syndergaard on Aug. 28, 2019 against the Chicago Cubs.

The Braves went up 2-0 on Swanson’s two-run double down the left field line, took a 4-0 lead on Albies’ 17th homer and opened a 6-0 advantage when Almonte homered to left-center field in the third.

–Field Level Media