Culberson's pinch-hit, two-run homer in 9th gives Braves win

ATLANTA (AP) Charlie Culberson had a good feeling after he fouled off a couple of pitches from Seth Lugo.

''When you get a pinch-hit at-bat, you have to be ready to hit, especially if it's somewhere close to the zone,'' he said. ''Luckily enough I got one over the plate and put a good swing on it.''

Culberson's pinch-hit, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Atlanta Braves a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader on Monday.

Lugo (1-1) gave up Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly in the eighth and walked Johan Camargo to begin the ninth before Culberson took him deep.

Devin Mesoraco gave the Mets a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth with a solo homer off Shane Carle (3-1), but Lugo's performance wiped out seven strong innings from Jacob deGrom as the Mets lost their fourth straight and fell to .500 for the first time this season.

New York's bullpen has a 10.65 ERA over its past four games and just 15 saves in 24 chances overall this season. Mets relievers dropped to 10-23 when they allow a run.

''We got exactly what we wanted out of deGrom,'' New York manager Mickey Callaway said. ''We just didn't get what we wanted out of Lugo.''

Atlanta improved to 31-21, second best in the NL, and has won 44 games in its last at-bat since manager Brian Snitker took charge on May 16, 2016, most in the majors over that span. The Braves lead the NL this year with 95 runs scored in the seventh inning or later.

Rain caused a 34-minute delay in middle of the sixth inning.

DeGrom pitched six scoreless innings before allowing Tyler Flowers' homer to make it 2-1 in the seventh. Throwing a season-high 115 pitches, he allowed five hits and three walks and struck out eight, lowering his NL-leading ERA to 1.52.

DeGrom has given up just two runs over his past 40 1/3 innings, a span of seven starts in which he has a 0.45 ERA. He pitched out of a jam after Flowers homered. The Braves had runners on first and third with no outs, but didn't score.

''I didn't want to come out of that game,'' deGrom said. ''I've been fortunate and able to pitch out of jams this season and I felt like I was going to be able to get through that inning.''

Mesoraco had a role in all three New York runs. He drew a bases-loaded walk off Max Fried to make it 1-0 in the first and singled and scored from first on Luis Guillorme's double to put the Mets up 2-0 in the fourth.

Fried, making his first start this season and the second of his career, gave up four hits, four walks and two runs - one earned - with six strikeouts in five innings.

DeGrom worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, striking out Preston Tucker and Camargo.

''We've been struggling to score runs and haven't been hitting with guys on,'' Snitker said. ''We didn't today. We had an opportunity to blow this game open a couple of times, but that's what good pitching does.''

WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

Of Culberson's seven career homers, three have ended a game. He also has three career pinch-hit homers.

GAFFES ON THE BASES

The Mets made two base running mistakes in the fifth when Fried and first baseman Freddie Freeman picked off Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista was picked off in a rundown from first. Fried became the first Braves pitcher since Kevin Millwood in 1999 to have two pickoffs in the same inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: RHP A.J. Ramos and INF Wilmer Flores were placed on the 10-day disabled list while RHP Hansel Robles and C Kevin Plawecki were activated from rehab assignments. Ramos, sidelined with a right shoulder strain, and Flores, out with lower back soreness, have returned to New York for further evaluation.

Braves: LF Ronald Acuna Jr. was placed on the disabled list with a mild ACL sprain in his left knee and bruises to his knee and lower back. Acuna's leg buckled while running out a grounder Sunday in Boston. He fell on his back after crossing the bag, then rolled over on his front side with what looked to be a gruesome injury. The 20-year-old surprisingly walked off the diamond, declining a wheelchair.

BAUTISTA BACK

Bautista went 1 for 2 with two walks in his first game back at SunTrust Park since the Braves released him on May 20. Bautista is hitting .455 in his first six games with the Mets. The former Toronto slugger had a .143 average in 12 games with Atlanta.

UP NEXT

Mets: LHP P.J. Conlon, called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to start the second game, allowed three runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings of his career debut May 7 at Cincinnati.

Braves: RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.67 ERA) will make his fourth start against the Mets. He is 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 18 2/3 innings against New York.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
NYM26-25
100100001370
ATL31-22
000000112481
  • W: S. Carle (3-1)L: S. Lugo (1-1)
  • HR: NYM - D. Mesoraco (6), ATL - T. Flowers (3), C. Culberson (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Nimmo RF41000023.263.416.505.9211.0
A. Cabrera 2B40100002.314.354.526.8801.0
M. Conforto CF30000123.227.345.390.7350.0
J. Bautista LF20100210.217.345.391.7371.5
J. Bruce 1B40000024.229.301.349.650-1.0
A. Gonzalez 1B00000000.250.324.391.7150.0
D. Mesoraco C32221110.241.327.494.8219.5
L. Guillorme 3B40210003.240.269.320.5894.0
A. Rosario SS40100012.248.279.369.6482.5
J. deGrom P20000121.095.174.095.2690.0
S. Lugo P10000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    E. Inciarte CF40000012.254.311.354.665-0.5
    O. Albies 2B41200000.272.318.545.8633.0
    F. Freeman 1B30200100.330.430.543.9733.0
    N. Markakis RF30110012.340.406.510.9161.5
    T. Flowers C31111121.288.413.481.8936.0
    P. Tucker LF30000124.269.310.441.7510.0
    J. Camargo 3B31100113.213.376.363.7392.5
    D. Swanson SS40000023.267.314.411.725-1.0
    M. Fried P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    a- R. Flaherty PH10000000.273.365.373.7380.0
    J. Biddle P0000-0001.0001.0002.000.000-
    b- K. Suzuki PH10000002.262.324.454.7780.0
    S. Freeman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    S. Carle P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    c- C. Culberson PH11121000.218.283.364.6477.0
    • a-lined out for Fried in the 5th
    • b-popped out for Biddle in the 7th
    • c-homered for Carle in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - L. Guillorme (2)
    • HR - D. Mesoraco (6)
    • RBI - D. Mesoraco 2 (13), L. Guillorme (2)
    • 2-Out RBI - D. Mesoraco (3)
    BATTING
    • HR - T. Flowers (3), C. Culberson
    • SF - N. Markakis (3)
    • RBI - N. Markakis (36), T. Flowers (9), C. Culberson 2 (4)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - A. Rosario (3)
    • CS - J. Bautista (2)
    • Picked Off - M. Conforto
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Cabrera-Rosario-Bruce)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Albies-Swanson-Freeman; Swanson-Albies-Freeman)
    • E - D. Swanson (2)
    • PB - T. Flowers (3)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. deGrom7.05113811.521.0119.0
    S. Lugo (L, 1-1) (BS, 1)1.13331212.481.01-8.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. deGrom7.0
    S. Lugo (L, 1-1) (BS, 1)1.1
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Fried5.04214604.091.459.0
    J. Biddle2.01001103.181.294.5
    S. Freeman1.00000303.321.204.5
    S. Carle (W, 3-1)1.02110211.821.048.0
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Fried5.0
    J. Biddle2.0
    S. Freeman1.0
    S. Carle (W, 3-1)1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. deGrom 115-76, S. Lugo 32-21
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. deGrom 7-5
    • Batters Faced - J. deGrom 28, S. Lugo 8
    PITCHING
    • HBP - M. Fried
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Fried 81-45, J. Biddle 31-19, S. Freeman 16-11, S. Carle 22-17
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Fried 5-2, J. Biddle 2-2, S. Carle 1-0
    • Batters Faced - M. Fried 22, J. Biddle 7, S. Freeman 3, S. Carle 5
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    NYM26-25
    100100001370
    ATL31-22
    000000112481
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Nimmo RF41000023.263.416.505.9211.0
    A. Cabrera 2B40100002.314.354.526.8801.0
    M. Conforto CF30000123.227.345.390.7350.0
    J. Bautista LF20100210.217.345.391.7371.5
    J. Bruce 1B40000024.229.301.349.650-1.0
    A. Gonzalez 1B00000000.250.324.391.7150.0
    D. Mesoraco C32221110.241.327.494.8219.5
    L. Guillorme 3B40210003.240.269.320.5894.0
    A. Rosario SS40100012.248.279.369.6482.5
    J. deGrom P20000121.095.174.095.2690.0
    S. Lugo P10000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
    Total31373151219-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      E. Inciarte CF40000012.254.311.354.665-0.5
      O. Albies 2B41200000.272.318.545.8633.0
      F. Freeman 1B30200100.330.430.543.9733.0
      N. Markakis RF30110012.340.406.510.9161.5
      T. Flowers C31111121.288.413.481.8936.0
      P. Tucker LF30000124.269.310.441.7510.0
      J. Camargo 3B31100113.213.376.363.7392.5
      D. Swanson SS40000023.267.314.411.725-1.0
      M. Fried P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
      a- R. Flaherty PH10000000.273.365.373.7380.0
      J. Biddle P0000-0001.0001.0002.000.000-
      b- K. Suzuki PH10000002.262.324.454.7780.0
      S. Freeman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      S. Carle P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      c- C. Culberson PH11121000.218.283.364.6477.0
      Total31484241017-----
      • a-lined out for Fried in the 5th
      • b-popped out for Biddle in the 7th
      • c-homered for Carle in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - L. Guillorme (2)
      • HR - D. Mesoraco (6)
      • RBI - D. Mesoraco 2 (13), L. Guillorme (2)
      • 2-Out RBI - D. Mesoraco (3)
      BATTING
      • HR - T. Flowers (3), C. Culberson
      • SF - N. Markakis (3)
      • RBI - N. Markakis (36), T. Flowers (9), C. Culberson 2 (4)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - A. Rosario (3)
      • CS - J. Bautista (2)
      • Picked Off - M. Conforto
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Cabrera-Rosario-Bruce)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Albies-Swanson-Freeman; Swanson-Albies-Freeman)
      • E - D. Swanson (2)
      • PB - T. Flowers (3)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. deGrom7.05113811.521.0119.0
      S. Lugo (L, 1-1) (BS, 1)1.13331212.481.01-8.0
      Total8.18444102---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. deGrom7.0
      S. Lugo (L, 1-1) (BS, 1)1.1
      Total8.1
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Fried5.04214604.091.459.0
      J. Biddle2.01001103.181.294.5
      S. Freeman1.00000303.321.204.5
      S. Carle (W, 3-1)1.02110211.821.048.0
      Total9.07325121---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Fried5.0
      J. Biddle2.0
      S. Freeman1.0
      S. Carle (W, 3-1)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. deGrom 115-76, S. Lugo 32-21
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. deGrom 7-5
      • Batters Faced - J. deGrom 28, S. Lugo 8
      PITCHING
      • HBP - M. Fried
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Fried 81-45, J. Biddle 31-19, S. Freeman 16-11, S. Carle 22-17
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Fried 5-2, J. Biddle 2-2, S. Carle 1-0
      • Batters Faced - M. Fried 22, J. Biddle 7, S. Freeman 3, S. Carle 5
      • 9TH INNING
        Culberson homered to left center, Camargo scored34
        Mesoraco homered to left32
      • 8TH INNING
        Markakis hit sacrifice fly to right, Albies scored, Freeman to second22
      • 7TH INNING
        Flowers homered to center21
      • 4TH INNING
        Guillorme doubled to deep left, Mesoraco scored20
      • 1ST INNING
        Mesoraco walked, Nimmo scored, Cabrera to third, Bautista to second10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Shane Carle relieved Sam Freeman
        • D. Mesoraco: Foul, Foul, Foul, Mesoraco homered to left
        • L. Guillorme: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Guillorme grounded out to shortstop
        • A. Rosario: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Rosario singled to center
        • S. Lugo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Lugo struck out bunting foul
        • B. Nimmo: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Rosario stole second, Strike swinging, Nimmo struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Adrian Gonzalez at first
        • J. Camargo: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Camargo walked
        • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Swanson lined out to right
        • Charlie Culberson hit for Shane Carle
        • C. Culberson: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Culberson homered to left center, Camargo scored
      • 8TH INNING
        • Sam Freeman pitching
        • M. Conforto: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Conforto struck out swinging
        • J. Bautista: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Bautista struck out swinging
        • J. Bruce: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Bruce struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Seth Lugo relieved Jacob deGrom
        • O. Albies: Albies reached on bunt single to pitcher
        • F. Freeman: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Freeman singled to right, Albies to third
        • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Markakis hit sacrifice fly to right, Albies scored, Freeman to second
        • T. Flowers: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Flowers struck out swinging
        • P. Tucker: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • J. Biddle Pitching:
        • J. deGrom: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, deGrom walked
        • B. Nimmo: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Nimmo lined out to right
        • A. Cabrera: Ball, Ball, Cabrera grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, deGrom out at second
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • T. Flowers: Flowers homered to center
        • P. Tucker: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Tucker walked
        • J. Camargo: Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Camargo singled to shallow right, Tucker to third
        • D. Swanson: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
        • Kurt Suzuki hit for Jesse Biddle
        • K. Suzuki: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Suzuki popped out to shortstop
        • E. Inciarte: Inciarte grounded out to second
        • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Jesse Biddle pitching
        • J. Bruce: Strike looking, Bruce grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Mesoraco: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Mesoraco struck out swinging
        • L. Guillorme: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Guillorme singled to left
        • A. Rosario: Ball, Strike looking, Rosario flied out to right
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • O. Albies: Foul, Albies flied out to shallow center
        • F. Freeman: Ball, Freeman grounded out to first
        • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Markakis struck out looking
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Fried Pitching:
        • A. Cabrera: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Cabrera grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Conforto: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Conforto walked
        • J. Bautista: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Conforto picked off at first, pitcher to first, Ball, Bautista singled to left
        • J. Bruce: Bautista picked off at second, pitcher to first to shortstop
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • D. Swanson: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
        • Ryan Flaherty hit for Max Fried
        • R. Flaherty: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Flaherty lined out to left
        • E. Inciarte: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Inciarte struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Fried Pitching:
        • D. Mesoraco: Strike looking, Mesoraco singled to right
        • L. Guillorme: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Guillorme doubled to deep left, Mesoraco scored
        • A. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
        • J. deGrom: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, deGrom struck out swinging
        • B. Nimmo: Nimmo flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • O. Albies: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Albies flied out to left
        • F. Freeman: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Freeman singled to right center
        • N. Markakis: Ball, Ball, Markakis singled to left, Freeman to third
        • T. Flowers: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Flowers walked, Markakis to second
        • P. Tucker: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
        • J. Camargo: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Camargo struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Fried Pitching:
        • A. Cabrera: Strike looking, Cabrera singled to center
        • M. Conforto: Ball, Conforto grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Cabrera out at second
        • J. Bautista: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Bautista walked
        • J. Bruce: Bruce lined out to left
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • D. Swanson: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Swanson flied out to right
        • M. Fried: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Fried struck out looking
        • E. Inciarte: Inciarte grounded out to first
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Fried Pitching:
        • A. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Rosario grounded out to shortstop
        • J. deGrom: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike looking, deGrom struck out looking
        • B. Nimmo: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Nimmo struck out looking
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • T. Flowers: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Flowers struck out swinging
        • P. Tucker: Tucker grounded out to catcher
        • J. Camargo: Strike looking, Strike looking, Camargo grounded out to first
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Fried Pitching:
        • B. Nimmo: Strike looking, Ball, Nimmo hit by pitch
        • A. Cabrera: Cabrera reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Nimmo to second on shortstop Swanson fielding error
        • M. Conforto: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Conforto struck out swinging
        • J. Bautista: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Nimmo to third, Cabrera to second on passed ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bautista walked
        • J. Bruce: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Bruce struck out swinging
        • D. Mesoraco: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Mesoraco walked, Nimmo scored, Cabrera to third, Bautista to second
        • L. Guillorme: Strike looking, Foul, Guillorme grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
        • J. deGrom Pitching:
        • E. Inciarte: Ball, Strike looking, Inciarte grounded out to first
        • O. Albies: Albies singled to right
        • F. Freeman: Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Freeman walked, Albies to second
        • N. Markakis: Markakis grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Freeman out at second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)