Nearly everything about the Mets' sloppy play yesterday smelled of a mundane afternoon in the Grapefruit League. From the avalanche of silly mistakes, to the lack of urgency stemming from the Nationals' steep descent, the Mets almost treated their series finale against the Braves as a cursory walk-through.

Until the ninth inning, at least.

With the Mets down to their last out, Daniel Murphy's game-tying three-run shot threw the doors open for a 10-7 victory in 10 innings.

The winning run, appropriately, came on a brutal lapse by the Braves after the Mets had spent the afternoon floundering.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Kevin Plawecki appeared to hit into an inning-ending force out. But third baseman Adonis Garcia threw wide of second base.

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Kirk Nieuwenhuis scored, his reward for triggering the rally with a two-out walk against Braves reliever Edwin Jackson. The Mets scored twice more, on bases loaded walks.

If any team had license to let down, it was the Mets. Nevertheless, the Amazin's extended their winning streak to seven games and kept their lead in the NL East at 91/2 games. Their magic number is now 11.