Braves sweep Mets, move closer to division crown

ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d’Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Sunday night to win a critical tiebreaker in their season series.

The defending World Series champion Braves swept the three-game series and moved two games ahead of New York in the NL East. Any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final games of the season against Washington, which is last in the division. Atlanta goes to Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the NL East because the Braves won the season series 10-9.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10½-game lead on June 1 but now is lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach’s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the past two nights.

The Mets move on to face the Washington Nationals on Monday. The Braves will take on the Miami Marlins.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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