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Francoeur rallies Mets to victory

ATLANTA -- Jeff Francoeur hit a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning off Braves closer Billy Wagner and the New York Mets snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.

The Braves have lost three of four and now lead second-place Philadelphia, a 6-1 winner at Florida, by two games in the NL East. Atlanta's 35-14 record at home, where they had won 25 of 32, leads the majors.

Fourth-place New York avoided falling under .500 for the first time since May 23.

Reliever Manny Acosta (2-1) earned the win after allowing one hit and three walks in 12/3 innings.

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save in 28 chances.

Wagner (5-2) gave up one hit and one run with one strikeout.

Francoeur, who was traded from his hometown Braves to the Mets last year, is hitting .125 in 40 at-bats since the All-Star break. The homer was his 10th.

Melky Cabrera drove in Atlanta's first two runs with an RBI fielder's choice grounder in the second and a RBI triple in the sixth.

Reliever Kyle Farnsworth, pitching in his first game since the Braves acquired him in a deadline deal with Kansas City, spoiled Derek Lowe's chance to win for just the second time in eight starts.

Farnsworth blew a 2-1 lead when Francoeur walked on four pitches, moved to second on Luis Castillo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chris Carter's pinch-hit RBI single.

The Mets are 6-16 in their last 22 road games.

R.A. Dickey's streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings, which began June 20 at Arizona, ended when the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second.

Alex Gonzalez, who was hit by a pitch, moved to third on Rick Ankiel's single. He scored on Cabrera's fielder's choice RBI, thanks in part to a hard slide into second by Ankiel that disrupted shortstop Jose Reyes' throw to first.

New York tied it 1-1 in the third when Castillo reached on a bunt single, moved to second on Dickey's sacrifice bunt and scored on Reyes' RBI double.

Dickey struck out Eric Hinske to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, but Cabrera's RBI triple put the Braves ahead 2-1 in the sixth.

Dickey allowed five hits, two runs, four walks and struck out two in six innings.

Atlanta had lost six of Lowe's last seven starts, but the right-hander issued no walks for the first time since Sept. 21 in an 11-3 win over the Mets.

Lowe gave up six hits, one run and struck out three.

Home plate umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck decided to continue the game through a light rain in the second, third and fourth innings.