Braves Hold Off Mets

After managing just one hit Friday night, the struggling Mets offense was able to collect 13 on Saturday. But still, their late charge was not enough and they fell to the Braves for the second straight game.

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Bartolo Colon’s throwing error gave the Braves two runs.

Much as he seems to do every game, Eric Young led off the first inning with a walk. He stole second, moved to third on a fly out and scored on a David Wright single to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

The Mets got a runner to third with no outs in the bottom of the second when Lucas Duda doubled and went to third on a throwing error by B.J. Upton. But on a grounder to short Duda got into a rundown and was tagged out.

Bartolo Colon gave the lead away in the third. With runners on first and second, Freddie Freeman hit a little squib to the third base side of the mound, which may or may not have hit off of Freeman’s foot. The umpires said the play was not reviewable by video replay. Colon fielded it but his throw to first sailed into the outfield. Two runs scored on what was ruled a single and an error to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

Freeman made it 3-1 with an RBI double in the fifth.

The Mets made some noise in the bottom of the seventh. Singles by Travis d’Arnaud and Ruben Tejada put runners on first and second with one out. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, pinch-hitting for Colon, struck out. d’Arnaud advanced to third on a wild pitch but Eric Young grounded out to end the inning.

Colon went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and one walk.

Daisuke Matsuzaka came on for the eighth, making just his second career relief appearance. Justin Upton singled with one out and stole second. He moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1 Braves.

Daniel Murphy led off the eighth with a fluttering liner to Dan Uggla at second. It hit off his glove for what was scored a single. Wright followed with a single that moved Murphy to third. Curtis Granderson popped out to third for the first out, hearing the boos from the fans. Chris Young singled to left to score Murphy for his first Met RBI to make it a 4-2 game. With runners on first and second Duda flew out to the warning track in right. d’Arnaud hit a liner over Uggla to drive in Wright to cut the deficit to 4-3. Chris Young moved to third but Tejada grounded out to bring the inning to an end.

Jose Valverde could not keep the game close. Justin Upton hit a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth to give the Braves a more comfortable 7-3 lead. Valverde has now allowed home runs in each of his past three outings. The runs were unearned because of a Valverde error when he whiffed on a bunt back to him leading off the inning. Pitcher defense killed the Mets tonight.

Those runs were huge because Craig Kimbrel, who hasn’t pitched for a week because of a shoulder issue, looked like a a pitcher who hadn’t thrown in a week. After getting the first out of the ninth inning he hit Eric Young. Murphy singled to put runners on first and second. Wright hit a ball into the gap in right-center to drive in Eric Young to make it a 7-4 game. Granderson came up with runners on second and third representing the potential tying run. He struck out, hearing even more boos. Chris Young lined a single to center to score Murphy to cut the lead to 7-5. Wright stopped at third. Duda walked to load the bases. In a rare scene, Kimbrel, the best closer in all of baseball, was then removed from the game. Jordan Walden was called on to get the last out. And he did it, getting d’Arnaud to ground out to short.

Mets lose 7-5.

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