New York Mets hold off late Atlanta Braves rally

After building a 7-1 lead, the Mets withstood a late charge to win their third game in the last four days.

New York Mets hold off late Atlanta Braves rally
Michael Conforto connects on a two-run single during the Mets series-opening win in Atlanta | Source: Mike Zarilli - Getty Images
New York Mets
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Atlanta Braves

Michael Conforto homered and drove in three runs to power the New York Mets to a 7-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first of a four-game series at brand new SunTrust Park. Robert Gsellman picked up the win despite giving up five runs while New York tagged Atlanta starter Julio Teheran for six runs in six innings.

Leadoff homers the only offense through first three innings

Stepping in against a pitcher that's dominated them the last couple of years, Conforto led off the game by cracking a 416-foot home run to center field to give the Mets a quick 1-0 lead. The Braves immediately as Ender Inciarte belted his fifth home run of the season to right field off of Gsellman to tie the score at 1-1. 

Both starting pitchers settled down, giving up a combined one hit over the next two innings before the Mets went to work against Teheran.

Mets get to Teheran, blow game open with five-run fourth

Asdrubal Cabrera led off the top of the fourth inning with a single and Jay Bruce doubled to set the Mets up with runners on second and third with no outs. Neil Walker would single in Cabrera to give New York a 2-1 lead and a Curtis Granderson walk loaded up the bases for Jose Reyes, who delivered a RBI groundout to extend the lead to 3-1.

An intentional walk to Travis d'Arnaud once again loaded the bases to bring up T.J. Rivera. Rivera blooped a single into center field, bringing in Walker to make it 4-1. After Gsellman lined out, Conforto delivered the biggest blow of the game with a two-run single to make it 6-1 New York.

Braves rally, nearly come all the way back

The Braves quickly countered in the bottom of the fourth. Gsellman hit Freddie Freeman and gave up a double to Matt Kemp. Nick Markakis grounded out to bring home Freeman to make it 6-2 and Adonis Garcia followed with a RBI single to score Kemp to cut the lead to 6-3. Gsellman escaped further trouble in the inning by getting catcher Tyler Flowers to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the sixth, Atlanta continued to rally, knocking Gsellman out after back-to-back doubles by Freeman and Kemp. Josh Edgin relieved Gsellman and got Markakis to ground out but a run scored and the lead extended to 6-4 for New York. Hansel Robles, already with four wins out of the bullpen, relieved Edgin and induced a flyout from Garcia, Kemp bringing home another run to make it 6-5 Mets, the closest the game had been since the first inning.

Adonis Garcia hits a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning of the Braves' loss to the Mets/Photo: Mike Zarilli/Getty Images
Adonis Garcia hits a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning of the Braves' loss to the Mets | Source: Mike Zarrilli - Getty Images

Mets get insurance run, close out win

With Tim Krol in to relieve a surprisingly ineffective Teheran, he got the first two outs before Reyes homered to give the Mets a much-needed extra run to increase the lead to 7-5.

Jose Reyes rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning of the Mets win in Atlanta/Photo: Mike Zarrilli
Jose Reyes rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning of the Mets win in Atlanta | Source: Mike Zarrilli- Getty Images

Addison Reed, struggling so far this season, gave up a leadoff single to Kemp before striking out Markakis and Flowers with a Garcia flyout sandwiched in between. Closer Jeurys Familia came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth and after striking out Dansby Swanson gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jace Peterson before getting Inciarte to hit into a game-ending double play.

Gsellman picked up the win to run his record to 1-2 while Teheran suffered the loss to drop to 2-2. Familia picked up his second save since returning from a season-opening 15-game suspension.

The two teams will play the second game of the series Tuesday night when Matt Harvey toes the rubber for New York while knuckleballer R.A. Dickey goes for Atlanta. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 Eastern.