“For us, it’s about winning games,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I don’t care who they’re against. We’ve just got to go in and win as many as we can.”

It was Cespedes who broke things open in the third inning, extending a one-run lead to five with his slam off Williams Perez. The Braves starter felt some elbow discomfort as he threw the hanging curveball that Cespedes mashed. He lasted just one additional batter before leaving due to a right triceps impingement.

“We had two four-run innings against us,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That doesn’t help. It was just one of those days. It’s tough when your starter leaves that early.”

Johnson's RBI single

Johnson’s RBI single

NYM@ATL: Johnson brings in Cabrera with a single

Kelly Johnson extends the Mets’ lead to 7-1 as he rips a single into right field that brings home Asdrubal Cabrera in the 5th

The Mets then piled on in the middle innings, with five of their nine starters — including Lugo — driving in runs. Lugo’s primary contributions came on the mound, however, with seven innings of two-run ball. He improved to 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts since joining the rotation.

You go, Lugo: Rookie learning on fly in bigs

“Just throwing strikes makes it easy to get more comfortable out there and relax, and make quality pitches,” Lugo said. “It’s been a lot easier since I’ve relaxed out there.”

Lugo sits down Kemp

Lugo sits down Kemp

NYM@ATL: Lugo strikes out Kemp in the 6th

Seth Lugo records one of his five strikeouts in seven innings of work on the mound as he gets Matt Kemp to go down swinging in the 6th

The Mets, meanwhile, improved to 67-106 all-time at Turner Field. Sunday’s victory gave them seven road wins in a season against the Braves for the first time ever, dating back to their time in Milwaukee. The Braves will move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County next season.

With the loss, Atlanta became the first NL team to be mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, joining the Twins in the American League.

Slam-spedes: The game was not yet a blowout when Cespedes, who also homered Saturday, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the third. Cespedes took a Perez breaking ball in the dirt, before dropping his hands to line an 89-mph sinker into the left-field stands. There, a Turner Field employee caught Cespedes’ fourth career grand slam with one hand.

Cespedes declined to discuss his grand slam after the game. “He’s going to let his bat do the talking,” a team spokesman said. More >

Cespedes' scorching grand slam

Cespedes’ scorching grand slam

NYM@ATL: Cespedes belts a grand slam for 30th homer

Yoenis Cespedes puts the Mets up 5-0 in the 3rd inning with a grand slam to left field that gets out of the ballpark in a hurry #PapaSlam

Bases crowded: The Braves recorded one hit through the first three innings and then opened the bottom of the fourth with four straight hits, including Adonis Garcia‘s leadoff double and Freddie Freeman‘s RBI single. But after a Nick Markakis single loaded the bases, Lugo induced an Anthony Recker popup and got Dansby Swanson to ground into a double play. Jace Peterson ended the game with a double-play groundout to lower Atlanta’s batting average with the bases loaded to .195.

Mets turn two to end the game

Mets turn two to end the game

NYM@ATL: Loney starts a game-ending double play

James Loney makes a terrific stop on Jace Peterson’s sharp ground ball and starts a 3-6-3 double play to end the game in the 9th

“[Lugo] just made a lot of really good pitches in some big situations,” said Recker, who caught the Mets’ starter at the Triple-A level last year. “He didn’t have a ton of trouble out there. There weren’t a ton of guys on base when he was out there. But that one inning we really had a chance, and we let that one slip away.”

Freeman's RBI single

Freeman’s RBI single

NYM@ATL: Freeman knocks RBI single, extends streak

Freddie Freeman extends his hitting streak to 17 games as he rips a single to center field that brings home Adonis Garcia in the 4th

Early exit: The Braves brought Perez back to the Majors last week hoping he had overcome the right shoulder ailment that had sidelined him most of this summer. But Sunday marked the second straight start in which his two-seam fastball lost life after the second inning and led to a third-inning exit. The right-hander will undergo further evaluation on Monday to determine the extent of what could be an elbow injury.

“He started out and looked pretty good,” Snitker said. “Then as he goes and presses on, something is just not right there.” More >

Perez exits in the 3rd

Perez exits in the 3rd

NYM@ATL: Perez exits with a right-tricep impingement

Williams Perez exits the game against the Mets in the top of the 3rd with a right-tricep impingement and will be further evaluated on Monday

“I won’t be missing the downtown traffic.” — Collins, when asked if he will miss Turner Field

Brandon Snyder‘s pinch-hit solo shot off Lugo in the seventh inning was his eighth hit in 40 at-bats this year. He has four doubles, three home runs, one triple and no singles. .

Mets No. 3 prospect Gavin Cecchini made his Major League debut in the eighth inning, pinch-hitting for Lugo. One of a slew of September callups, Cecchini struck out against Brandon Cunniff in his only plate appearance.

“I’ve been up here for a few days, but you’re not officially a big leaguer until you get in a game,” Cecchini said. “So it was a good feeling.”

Braves: Jeff Francoeur will return to Turner Field on Monday, when Atlanta begins a three-game series against Miami. Mike Foltynewicz will be aiming to win his fifth straight decision when he throws the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Mets: With 19 games to play, the Mets will travel to Washington for their final three against a team with more than pipe-dream playoff aspirations. Though the Mets are all but mathematically eliminated from winning the NL East, they can continue their Wild Card surge with a strong series against the Nationals, who are entering their final stages of preparation for October. Rafael Montero will start Monday’s 7:05 p.m. ET opener at Nationals Park.

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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Mets News / Mets rout Braves to recapture Wild Card edge