NEW YORK -AP- Right in the middle of a pennant race, the New York Metswere robbed.
In an electrifying finish to a pressure-packed game for the Mets, center fielder Ender Inciarte took away a game-winning home run from Yoenis Cespedes for the final out of Atlanta's 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
"Tremendous catch," New York manager Terry Collins said. "One of the best you'll ever see."
With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cespedes launched a drive to deep right-center.
Robbed! Cespedes denied game-winning HR, Mets lose to Braves
Inciarte raced a long way to the wall and timed his jump perfectly, catching the ball just above the orange line atop the fence.
"Probably the best catch I've ever made," Inciarte said. "I thought that ball was gone right (off) the bat. But it was the last play of the game. I was just giving everything I've got."
And with that, the Mets were handed another costly defeat by the last-place Braves after squandering a three-run lead.
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 last two playoff spots.
Moments later, a disappointed Cespedes would answer only one question from reporters at his locker.
"I knew I hit the ball well," he said through a translator. "I knew there was a good chance it was going to make it out, but he made a better play."
Once he corralled the ball, Inciarte held up his glove in excitement as Cespedes turned and walked slowly off the field.
"Guys were flying over the railing," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. "It just erupted. I don't think you could have won the World Series and had a bigger explosion than that right there."
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.
"I still can't wrap my mind around that, how he did that. Just incredible," Braves slugger Freddie Freeman said.
Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia failed to protect a 3-0 lead for the Mets. 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 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 the 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.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Rene Rivera homered to help the Mets build their 3-0 lead. Colon carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh before ex-MetAnthony Recker started Atlanta's comeback with a two-run homer.
Seeking a five-out save from his All-Star closer, 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.
Freeman extended his hitting streak to a career-best 25 games and has reached base safely in 41 straight for Atlanta.

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