Francoeur's blast in 9th helps Mets edge Braves

New York's Jeff Francoeur hits the go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning against Atlanta.

ATLANTA -- The last two seasons have been a drag for Jeff Francoeur.

For one night, Atlanta's former hometown star was able to relish a big moment.

"That was the best swing I've had in a long time," he said. "Most of the time, I can keep my emotions in check, but I had to let out a little smile on that one."

Francoeur hit a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning off Braves closer Billy Wagner and the New York Mets snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.

The Braves have lost three of four and lead second-place Philadelphia by just two games in the NL East.

New York avoided falling under .500 for the first time since May 23.

Francoeur, who was traded by Atlanta to the Mets last year, is hitting

.125 in 40 at-bats since the All-Star break. The homer was his 10th.

Growing up in Atlanta, Francoeur was a standout at nearby Parkview High School and was drafted by the Braves in the first round of 2002.

He made a national splash as a rookie and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated before the Braves grew tired of his free-swinging approach at the plate and dealt him to the Mets on July 10, 2009.

Reliever Manny Acosta (2-1) earned the win after allowing one hit and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save in 28 chances.

Wagner (5-2) gave up one hit and one run with one strikeout. The left-hander had earned three straight saves after blowing his previous two chances July 21 and 23.

Francoeur used an inside-out swing on a fastball that landed in the right-field seats.

"I made a good pitch. He hit it," Wagner said. "I mean it was a really, really, really good pitch. If anything, I'm mad because I threw it so good, on the black. It's going to come down to a big hit, and that's exactly what happened."

Melky Cabrera drove in Atlanta's first two runs with an RBI fielder's choice grounder in the second and a RBI triple in the sixth.

Reliever Kyle Farnsworth, pitching in his first game since the Braves acquired him in a deadline deal with Kansas City, spoiled Derek Lowe's chance to win for just the second time in eight starts.

Farnsworth blew a 2-1 lead when Francoeur walked on four pitches, moved to second on Luis Castillo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chris Carter's pinch-hit RBI single.

R.A. Dickey's career-best streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings, which began June 20 at Arizona, ended when the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second.

E-Ale.Gonzalez (3). DP-New York 1, Atlanta 1. LOB-New York 7, Atlanta 10. 2B-Jos.Reyes (20), L.Castillo (4), Infante (10), Heyward (21). 3B-Me.Cabrera (3). HR-Francoeur (10). SB-Thole (1). CS-Carter (1), Ale.Gonzalez (1). S-L.Castillo, Dickey 2.

HBP-by Dickey (Ale.Gonzalez).

Umpires-Home, John Hirschbeck; First, James Hoye; Second, Laz Diaz; Third, Wally Bell. T-2:53. A-26,578 (49,743).