NEW YORK – Free-agent prize Marcell Ozuna introduced himself to new fans back in Atlanta with a big swing when it counted most.
Just the sort of ingratiation still evading shaky Mets closer Edwin Díaz 1 1/2 years into his stint with New York.
Ozuna hit a tying homer off Díaz with two outs in the ninth inning, Dansby Swanson scored automatic runner Adam Duvall with a leadoff single in the 10th and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Saturday.
“He’s one of those guys that those situations don’t faze him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Ozuna. “That guy can hit.”
New York loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th with no outs against Luke Jackson (1-0). Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith managed a sacrifice fly, but Jackson recovered and retired Wilson Ramos to end it.
Ozuna, signed to an $18 million, one-year deal in January, energized Atlanta's struggling offense with his opposite-field drive against Díaz. Ozuna went with a 3-2 fastball just off the outside corner and roped it out to right field for his first home run with the Braves.
“Today is not a day I’m going to lose my confidence over," Díaz said through a translator, saying he located the 98 mph fastball exactly where he wanted.
Mets reliever Hunter Strickland (0-1) was charged with an unearned run on Swanson's RBI in Major League Baseball's second game featuring an unpopular, new extra-innings rule that gives teams a free baserunner on second from the 10th on.