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Homers by Acuña, Albies and Olson in 3rd lead Morton and Braves to 4-2 win over Mets

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NEW YORK (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a titanic home run, just before Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson also went deep in the third inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 4-2 on Friday night.

Charlie Morton (3-0) pitched seven splendid innings as the teams played through raindrops in a game delayed 55 minutes at the start. Atlanta won its third straight since getting swept at Dodger Stadium last weekend, with two off days in between.

“We’re not even close to hitting on all cylinders yet,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Francisco Lindor homered on Morton’s first pitch in the seventh, one of only three hits off the 40-year-old right-hander.

“He amazes me every time he goes out there,” Snitker said.

Morton struck out seven and walked one in his fourth consecutive quality start, surpassing 2,000 innings in the majors.

“That’s a lot,” Morton said. “It’s something to be proud of, and something to experience with this group here is pretty special.”

A.J. Minter struck out all three batters in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias got three outs for his 10th save in 12 chances this season and the 200th of his career.

Iglesias gave up Pete Alonso’s two-out RBI single before J.D. Martinez hit a long drive that hooked foul down the left-field line. Martinez then flied out to end it.

After the game, Iglesias had the souvenir ball from his milestone save sitting in his locker and said he was happy to give his wife that gift on her birthday.

“I just feel very satisfied,” the reliever said through a translator. “It was definitely a goal that I’d set out for myself previously and I’m just very happy I was able to accomplish it.”

Coming off a horrendous outing, Mets starter Jose Quintana (1-4) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.

The veteran left-hander was hammered for eight runs and 10 hits over 2 2/3 innings at Tampa Bay a week earlier.

“It’s frustrating because a lot feels great and (I was) throwing the ballgame well against a pretty good lineup,” Quintana said. “After two outs, everything changed. Big damage. So that’s pretty bad.”

Right after a double play that left the bases empty in the third, Acuña drove a full-count sinker 461 feet to the back of the black batter’s eye incline in straightaway center, well beyond the home run apple at Citi Field.

For the reigning NL MVP, it was just his third home run this season after equaling a career high with 41 last year.

“It felt really good, I’m not going to lie,” Acuña said through a translator. “It’s been a while since I felt that way, so it was nice to be able to kind of regain that feeling.”

Albies followed with a high fly into the left-field corner, 105 feet shorter than Acuna’s smash but still worth one run. It was Albies’ first homer since March 31 — he missed time with a broken toe — and the second time the Braves hit back-to-back home runs this year.

Quintana then walked Austin Riley before a slumping Olson sent a two-run shot to right-center for his fourth home run of the season and first since April 7 against Arizona. The 26-game drought was the longest of his career.

Olson led the majors with 54 homers and 139 RBIs last season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: RHP Pierce Johnson (elbow inflammation) was set to throw off a mound. “Just feel and touch a little bit,” Snitker said. “Everything’s trending good with him.”

Mets: LHP Brooks Raley (elbow) is scheduled to see Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday. Meister is an elbow expert and the Texas Rangers’ head team physician. Asked if Raley could miss the rest of the season, manager Carlos Mendoza said: “It’s too early to tell.” … RHP Drew Smith (sore shoulder) will throw another inning Saturday on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse. He felt good physically after pitching one inning Wednesday for Syracuse. Smith is eligible to come off the injured list. … RHP Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) will make another rehab start Sunday for Syracuse. The goal is five innings and 75-80 pitches. … RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) threw a bullpen. “It’s more about mechanics,” Mendoza said. “Trying to get him back to feeling himself.”

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Max Fried (2-1, 4.23 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Saturday. Fried is 8-5 with a 2.65 ERA against the Mets.

Mets: Rookie RHP Christian Scott (0-0, 1.35) makes his first start at Citi Field. The team’s top pitching prospect is coming off an impressive major league debut last weekend at Tampa Bay, where he allowed one run with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer

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