After he crushed a Bryce Elder slider for a two-run homer to give the New York Mets a three-run lead in the third inning on Tuesday, Pete Alonso got back into the visiting dugout and yelled, "Throw it again! Throw it again! Please, throw it again!" at the Atlanta Braves' pitcher.
Elder didn't throw another meatball to Alonso. Instead, the Braves came back to beat the Mets 6-4 in the opener of a three-game series.
The Braves will look to clinch a series win and deepen the Mets' slump on Wednesday night when Atlanta hosts New York in the middle game of the set.
Charlie Morton (5-6, 3.62 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Braves against Max Scherzer (5-2, 3.21) in a battle of veteran right-handers.
The Braves continued their mastery of the Mets on Tuesday night, when Orlando Arcia's tiebreaking single capped a four-run sixth inning and led Atlanta to the victory.
The win was the third straight for the National League East-leading Braves (36-24), while the third-place Mets dropped their fourth straight and fell under .500 at 30-31.
Atlanta posted its fifth consecutive home win over the Mets dating to last August. Included in that run was a three-game sweep from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, when the Braves closed a 10-9 season-series win to claim the tiebreaker when the teams finished tied atop the NL East at 101-61.
The Braves, who rank second in the NL with 98 homers this season, hit one home run on Tuesday, a second-inning shot from Ozzie Albies. Atlanta trailed 4-1 entering the sixth inning, when doubles from Austin Riley, Sean Murphy and Marcell Ozuna helped them tie the game before Arcia delivered the go-ahead hit.
"We have nine strong (hitters)," Elder said. "So just kind of for those guys to kind of put together ABs and make it tough on pitchers, you get late in games, it starts wearing guys down. So I'm glad they're on my team."
The Mets, who rank fifth in the NL with 71 homers but eighth with 262 runs, had another all-or-nothing offensive game on Tuesday. Two-run homers in the third by Francisco Lindor and Alonso accounted for half of New York's hits.
New York hit four solo homers in a 6-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. The Mets have scored four runs or less 33 times this year and have been blanked eight times, the latter of which matches the numbers of shutouts they endured last season.
"I'm sure at some point in the year we're going to start stringing hits together -- we're going to start driving in runs in high-leverage situations and even in situations that are not really high leverage," Lindor said. "That's going to happen at some point. I know we're capable of doing that."
For the Braves, Morton took the loss Friday when he gave up three runs over seven innings in a 3-2 setback to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is 4-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 19 career starts (18 appearances) against the Mets.
Scherzer earned the win Thursday when he surrendered two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven innings as the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2. He struck out a season-high nine and walked one.
In 31 games (29 starts) against the Braves, Scherzer is 13-10 with a 3.77 ERA.
--Field Level Media