ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves got the best of Matt Harvey for the second time in less than a week, again scoring six runs against the New York Mets right-hander.
Ender Inciarte had three hits and drove in three runs, and Freddie Freeman started Harvey’s downfall with his 10th homer of the season in the first inning as the Braves defeated the Mets 9-7 on Tuesday night.
Jay Bruce made it close as he blasted a grand slam, his second homer of the game, with two outs in the ninth off Matt Wisler, but Jim Johnson came in to strike out Neil Walker and record his fifth save.
Braves starter R.A. Dickey gave up a two-run homer to Bruce and a bases-empty blast to Asdrubal Cabrera on fastballs, but that was the only damage as the knuckleballer improved to 4-0 against the team he won a National League Cy Young Award with in 2012.
Dickey (3-2) allowed three runs on four hits, four walks and hit a batter in six innings. He beat the Mets for the second time this season after also being matched up against Harvey last Thursday.
Last week in New York as a late fill-in for Noah Syndergaard, Harvey gave up six runs on five hits and five walks over 4 1/3 innings. This time the right-hander had plenty of advance notice, but he allowed eight hits, walked three and hit a batter over 5 1/3 innings.
The Braves tacked on three runs in the seventh off the Mets bullpen. Adonis Garcia and pinch hitter Lane Adams had RBI singles, and Dansby Swanson added a sacrifice fly.
Dickey drove in his fifth run of the season with a bases-loaded high chopper and Inciarte followed with a two-run single as the Braves broke a 3-all tie with a three-run fourth against Harvey.
The teams traded two-run homers in the first inning, with Bruce connecting to right-center field on a 1-0 fastball from Dickey that didn’t surprise the slugger and Freeman depositing a 3-2 slider from Harvey (2-2) into the upper level of the Chop House in right.
The Braves went ahead in the second inning on a two-out RBI double by Inciarte before the Mets tied it in the third on Cabrera’s leadoff homer to right-center on a 3-1 count when Dickey again went to an 80-mph fastball instead of his usual knuckler.
NOTES: Mets CF Curtis Granderson, batting .122, extended his slump to 0-for-15 and 3-for-49 as he flied out to left field as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. … Mets C Travis d’Arnaud left the game in the bottom of the sixth because of a sore right wrist. … INF Wilmer Flores (infected right knee) had his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A Las Vegas, and the Mets hope to activate him this weekend. … RHP Mauricio Cabrera, out since spring training because of an elbow strain, pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. He could come off the disabled list next week. … Braves RHP Bartolo Colon (1-2, 5.59 ERA) will face his old team for the second time this season on Wednesday, facing Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (1-1, 2.84 ERA) in a rematch of April 5 in New York. DeGrom has fanned 35 over three straight double-digit strikeout games.