NEW YORK -- Center fielder Ender Inciarte robbed Yoenis Cespedes of a game-winning homer for the final out, and the New York Mets were handed another costly defeat by last-place Atlanta when the Braves rallied for a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cespedes launched a drive to deep right-center. Inciarte raced a long way to the wall and timed his jump perfectly, catching the ball just above the orange line atop the fence.
He held up his glove in excitement as Cespedes turned and walked slowly off the field. Some fans in the stunned crowd of 32,187 at Citi Field still had their hands on their heads as they filed up the aisles toward the exits.
New York remained tied with St. Louis in the NL wild-card race, a half-game behind the Giants pending San Francisco's late game at Dodger Stadium. The teams began the day in a three-way tie for the league's final two playoff spots.
Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia failed to protect a three-run lead for the Mets in a late-season thriller. An error by normally sure-handed first baseman James Loney helped Atlanta tie the game with an unearned run in the eighth.
Inciarte had an RBI groundout against Familia (3-4) in the top of the ninth, sending the feisty Braves to their fifth straight victory. They completed their second consecutive three-game sweep at Citi Field, including one in June.
Ian Krol (2-0) struck out pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki with the bases loaded to end the eighth - moments after Cespedes nearly put New York ahead. His high fly to deep left field was knocked down by a leaping Matt Kemp at the top of the fence, with ball glancing off Kemp's glove and dropping to the ground for a double.
Cespedes thought he had a go-ahead homer - he tossed his bat aside and started to trot before digging for second when the ball stayed in play.
Jim Johnson got three outs for his 17th save.
Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to a career-best 25 games and has reached base safely in 41 straight for Atlanta.
Seeking a five-out save from his All-Star closer, Mets manager Terry Collins turned to Familia with two runners on. But the Braves surprised New York with a double steal on Familia's second pitch, and Kemp made it 3-all with a sacrifice fly.
Colon carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh before ex-Met Anthony Recker started Atlanta's comeback with a two-run homer.
In a funny scene, a confused Recker paused his trot between second and third and held out his hand, unsure why teammate Nick Markakis had stopped at third. Markakis apparently didn't realize the ball cleared the fence on the fly at first. Finally, both players crossed the plate and Recker patted Markakis on the helmet.
It was Cabrera's 21st home run this season and 20th while playing shortstop, breaking Reyes' club record.
Rivera went deep in the fifth against Weber, who lasted five innings.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz threw about 25 fastballs in a bullpen session and said he felt normal. As long as that continues, he plans to mix in all his pitches during a longer bullpen Friday and hopes to make at least one more start this season. Foltynewicz has been sidelined since getting hit on the left calf by a line drive Sept. 12.
Mets: Rookie LHP Steven Matz (shoulder) threw a bullpen and is tentatively scheduled to start Friday night against Philadelphia, assuming he feels fine Thursday. Matz would likely be limited to around 50-60 pitches, with rookie RHPGabriel Ynoa lined up to follow. Matz has not pitched since Aug. 14. ... INF Wilmer Flores (right wrist) remained out of the lineup and is not expected to play Thursday night against Philadelphia. Flores has been sidelined since Sept. 10, when he was injured in a home-plate collision at Atlanta. He's received two injections, the second one on Monday, but still was unable to swing a bat Wednesday, according to Collins. ... RHP Jacob deGrom had season-ending surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his right elbow and is expected to be ready for spring training next year, the team said. ... RF Curtis Granderson was shaken up after banging into the retaining wall while catching a foul fly in the seventh. He bent over for a moment or two, but stayed in the game.
Braves: RHP Josh Collmenter (2-0, 4.61 ERA) starts Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Miami.
Mets: Rookie RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 2.35) gets the ball Thursday night when New York begins its final home series of the regular season with the first of four games against Philadelphia. Lugo is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the last five of his six major league starts, and 3-0 vs. NL East opponents overall. LHP Adam Morgan (2-10, 5.49) pitches for the fourth-place Phillies.