New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) is out at second after Atlanta Braves shortstop Ramiro Pena (14) makes the tag in the fifth inning Thursday in Atlanta. (USA Today Sports: Kevin Liles)
ATLANTA — Left fielder Eric Young Jr. was the perfect table-setter at the top of the New York Mets lineup on Thursday.
Young, who came in hitting just .154, had three hits, including a triple, stole three bases and scored four times as the Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-4 to take the three-game series at Turner Field.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy — the Mets No. 2 hitter — had three hits, including a double, walked once, drove in three runs and scored twice.
Murphy scored the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning on a two-out single by center fielder Juan Lagares off right-handed reliever Gus Schlosser, who had replaced lefty Luis Avilan.
Murphy doubled in the eighth to drive in Young, who had used his speed to avoid a double play, and then swiped his fifth base of the series and the Mets’ fourth of the game.
Braves left fielder Justin Upton, who smashed 12 homers last April, hit his first two long balls of the season and had a single.
Carlos Torres got the victory, giving up just one hit and striking out three in two scoreless innings.
Kyle Farnsworth retired the Braves in order in the eighth inning and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
Justin Upton went the opposite way with a 0-2 fastball from right-hander Jenrry Mejia for leadoff homer to right field in the second inning, then pulled a 1-1 changeup over the fence in left with a man on to complete the Braves’ three-run third.
Braves starter David Hale, who had given up just one run over his first three major league starts dating back to last September, wasn’t sharp this time.
The Mets’ first-inning run was unearned, but the right-hander gave up two runs in the third and then allowed the Mets to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth.
Hale, who gave up five hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings, was fortunate that reliever Anthony Varvaro was able to work out of an inherited bases-loaded jam.
Mejia allowed six hits and four walks in his five innings, striking out seven.
Notes: SS Andrelton Simmons was a scratch from the Braves lineup because of a jammed right wrist suffered Wednesday. He had two hits in the game and also threw out Mets C Travis d’Arnaud from a nearly prone position after a diving stop. … Chipper Jones, a celebrated Mets killer during his long Braves career, was on the field during early batting practice giving batting tips to CF B.J. Upton, who tripled his second time up.
… The Braves begin a three-game series against the NL East-leading Nationals on Friday, with RHP Julio Teheran starting the opener. The Braves took two of three in Washington last weekend as Teheran won his third straight start against the Nationals. … The Mets continue a nine-game road trip with a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels. … RHP Ervin Santana, who pitched eight scoreless innings Wednesday in his Braves debut, was the first major league starter to open a game with 20 consecutive strikes since 1988, according to Stats, Inc.