By The Sports Xchange
NEW YORK — Ender Inciarte drove home the winning run with an RBI groundout in the top of the ninth inning and made a game-saving catch to end the bottom of the inning as the Atlanta Braves continued to play wild-card spoiler by beating the New York Mets 4-3 on Wednesday night to cap a three-game series sweep at Citi Field.
The Braves (61-91) trailed 3-0 entering the seventh before storming back to stun the Mets (80-72), who entered the game in a three-way tie for the National League’s two wild-card spots with the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets are assured of no worse than being tied for the second wild card by virtue of the Cardinals’ loss to the Colorado Rockies earlier Wednesday.
Jace Peterson led off the ninth with a single against Jeurys Familia (3-4). Peterson went to second on a bunt by Dansby Swanson, took third on a single by pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio and scored on Inciarte’s grounder to second.
Left-hander Ian Krol (2-0) got the final out of the eighth. Jim Johnson (17th save) allowed a hit and a walk in the bottom of the inning before Yoenis Cespedes hit a long fly ball to center with two outs. Inciarte leaped against the wall to rob Cespedes of a likely walk-off three-run homer.
Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 and reached base safely for the 41st straight game while extending his hitting streak to 25 games. Matt Kemp’s 12-game hitting streak ended after he went 0-for-3 with a game-tying sacrifice fly.
Two homers — a two-run shot by Asdrubal Cabrera in the first and a solo blast by Rene Rivera in the fifth — staked the Mets to a 3-0 lead. T.J. Rivera had two hits.
The Braves began crawling back in the seventh, when Nick Markakis singled with one out before Recker homered against his former team.
Inciarte led off the eighth by reaching on an error by first baseman James Loney. Inciarte went to second on a one-out single by Freeman. After a double steal, Inciarte raced home on a sacrifice fly to left by Kemp.
Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon allowed two runs, six hits and no walks while striking out six in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed only one runner beyond first base through the first six innings before tiring in the seventh.
Braves right-hander Ryan Weber, making his first start of the season, allowed three runs, four hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings.
NOTES: Mets RF Jay Bruce was out of the lineup for the third time in the last four games. Bruce is 3-for-37 since Sept. 5 and is hitting just .176 since being acquired by the Mets from the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 1. He was pinch-hit for in the eighth inning Tuesday night by INF Eric Campbell, who hadn’t batted in the majors since Aug. 30. … Mets RHP Jacob deGrom underwent successful surgery Wednesday to reposition the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. … Braves RHP Jose Ramirez dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension for throwing behind Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez on Sept. 14. He will be eligible to return Saturday. … Atlanta RHP Josh Collmenter will make his second start with the club in Thursday’s series opener against the Miami Marlins.