Freeman homered, doubled and tied a career high with five RBI, powering the Atlanta Braves past New York 13-5 on Monday.
Freeman has thrived against Mets pitching this season, hitting .349 (23 of 66) with five homers and 16 RBI. For his career, he has 11 homers and 42 RBI against the Mets, his best totals against any opponent.
Freeman put the Braves ahead with a two-run double off Matsuzaka in the first inning. Freeman made it 6-1 with a three-run homer a dozen rows deep into the right-field seats in the second.
“When you go out there and face guys you haven’t seen, my approach is to go up there and be aggressive,” Freeman said. “It was kind of easier with guys on base. They have to come after you and they don’t want to walk you and load up the bases. He was aggressive and I took advantage of his mistakes.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Freeman “gave us a couple great at-bats on a tough day to play well. The first two innings took about an hour.”
Matsuzaka (0-3) allowed six runs on seven hits in only three innings.
He has a 10.95 ERA since signing with the Mets.
“You guys saw the results. I’m very disappointed in myself today,” Matsuzaka said through a translator. “The difference between my good pitches and my bad pitches was too big and that’s something that’s needs to change.”
Paul Maholm (10-10) snapped his four-game losing streak despite struggling with his control. He yielded three runs on six hits and three walks.
Jordan Schafer got four hits and stole three bases for Atlanta before leaving with a lower back strain. Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs.
The NL East-leading Braves, who matched their season high for runs, have won seven of eight.
Josh Satin hit two doubles for New York.
The Mets, who lost at Washington on Sunday night, arrived at their team hotel in Atlanta about 4 a.m. on Monday, followed by their luggage about 30 minutes later. That left players only a few hours to sleep before the bus trip to Turner Field for the 1:10 p.m. start.
Matsuzaka, 32, was released by Cleveland on Aug. 20 and signed with the Mets two days later. He is 0-7 in his last eight starts since Sept. 2, 2012, with Boston.
Simmons’ double in the fifth off Gonzalez Germen drove in Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton. Justin Upton doubled off Pedro Feliciano in the sixth and scored on Brian McCann’s single. B.J. Upton’s double drove in McCann for a 10-3 lead.
Matsuzaka had an RBI single in the second. Zach Lutz had a pinch-hit double in the Mets’ two-run fourth.