BRAVES 7, METS 5
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Freddie Freeman is feeling good as opening day approaches.
Freeman homered twice for his second game in a row, leading the Atlanta Braves over the New York Mets 7-5 Tuesday in a matchup of teams that will open against each other April 5.
“I’ve been feeling pretty comfortable the last week,” Freeman said. “I’m just trying to get my swing back up through the middle here. I can use the whole field with every pitch, and it’s paying off for me.”
Freeman, who homered twice Sunday, sent a slider over the left-field wall in the seventh, then hit a drive to center in the ninth for his fifth homer of spring training.
A day after making his spring training debut, the Mets’ David Wright was 0 for 2 with a sacrifice fly. Wright, who tore an abdominal muscle early in camp, had been expected to get Tuesday off.
“We felt comfortable we wanted to get him back out there today,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. Wright will have today off, he said.
Michael Bourn homered in the second off the Mets’ Chris Schwinden, and Lucas Duda connected in the bottom half against Buddy Carlyle.
“I think Lucas Duda is going to be a dynamic talent,” Collins said. “Obviously, he is power supreme. I just believe he is getting very comfortable with the fact he is a major league player and he belongs here and he can hit here. He already has shown us he can hit lefties and hit righties, he can hit the ball out of the ballpark. What you’ve seen with some of his home runs is why I think the reconfiguration of Citi Field will be a big difference for him.”
New York pulled the fences at the pitcher-friendly ballpark during the offseason.
Carlyle, who pitched for Atlanta from 2007-09, allowed two runs and three hits in four innings.
“It was nice to see Buddy come up and give us four strong innings, and Freddie, it’s been three or four games now where he is starting to see those at-bats get better and better, so that’s a good sign,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “The wind helped us a little.”
Mets left fielder Jason Bay remained out of the lineup for a second day after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch Sunday.