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The Mets were well on their way to defeating the Braves in Atlanta on Tuesday night, but one inning dashed those hopes.

After starter Carlos Carrasco gave up a second-inning solo home run to Ozzie Albies, the veteran was cruising through the Braves lineup. Two two-run homers from Francidsco Lindor and Pete Alonso put the Mets up comfortably 4-1 and Carrasco was on the verge of his third straight dominant start when the sixth inning started.

Matt Olson led off the inning with a walk, which was followed by back-to-back doubles by Austin Riley and Sean Murphy to cut the Mets lead to 4-3. Those hits chased Carrasco after just 86 pitches, but after the game the veteran placed the blame on that inning on one thing.

“It starts with the walk and it got out of hand from there,” Carrasco said after the game. “I was trying to get at least the first out. And then a double, I think it was a good pitch, the slider there. Then the changeup to Murphy, double, two runs right there. It started when I walked that guy.”

That walk to Olson came when Carrasco was ahead 2-2 in the count, but that was a common theme for the 36-year-old. He seemed to be unable to consistently get the Braves hitters out when ahead in the count, even when it was 0-2.

“He had two or three 0-2 situations that we didn’t put some guys away. He got away with it early, not in that inning,” Manager Buck Showalter said of Carrasco in the sixth inning. “I can’t fault Carlos, in a tough environment he gave us a quality start and gave us a chance to win.”

When Carrasco was asked why he had trouble putting away batters on 0-2 on Tuesday, he simply said “those guys are really aggressive with two strikes” and that he was just a “little off” on his pitches.

Carrasco left Tuesday’s start after five-plus innings, giving up six hits, four runs and two walks while striking out four batters in the game. The fourth run charged to Carrasco happened when Drew Smith came on in relief.

After getting the first two outs, Marcell Ozuna drove a 1-0 slider that was over the plate into left field to score the tying run. After a wild pitch, Orlando Arcia hit an infield single on another slider over the plate that scored the go-ahead run that ultimately won the game.

“You have to get three outs,” Smith said after the game. “Getting the first two was big but struggled to get Ozuna and Arcia. Bad slider to Ozuna, the only bad pitch of the night for me, which sucked in that situation. They are good hitters, gotta give them credit. I just have to do a better job.”

Entering Tuesday, Smith pitched 2.1 scoreless innings over his last three outings. However, as Smith put it, one bad pitch sealed the Mets’ fate, which seems to be the case a lot this season for the reliever. But the 29-year-old doesn’t think too much about the “one bad pitch” and instead focuses on being better while on the mound.

“It’s baseball man. Sometimes you throw bad ones and they are hit right at people and there are other times you throw good ones that find holes,” he said. “I try not to think about it. I just try to throw good ones, better ones. It’s definitely frustrating where you feel every bad one you throw is hit. That’s baseball.”

While the four-run sixth inning erased the Mets’ lead and seemingly any chance to take the series opener in Atlanta — the Mets had just four hits the entire game — many of the players are still confident that the team can play as well as they did last season.

“We’re capable of [stringing hits together like last year]. We’ve been in the part of the year where we seem like we’re getting there and then suddenly we don’t get there,” Lindor said. “We just have to continue to stick together and don’t back down from any challenge.”

“We’re going to have some ups and downs. We just have to go out there and continue to play hard,” Carrasco said of his team’s struggles. “We have a lot of games left and we’ll go from there.”

The Mets (30-31) are now 6.5 games out of first place with Tuesday’s loss. They hope to get back into the series and the NL East race when they take on the Braves again on Wednesday night.

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