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Mets End Longest Losing Streak In Seven Years

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Josh Thole (David Goldman/AP Photo)

Josh Thole (David Goldman/AP Photo)

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By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) _ Travel-weary Dillon Gee used borrowed spikes, a
borrowed glove and Josh Thole’s hitting in a new-look lineup to
help the New York Mets end their longest losing streak in seven
years.

Thole, hitting second for the first time this season, had two
run-scoring singles, Gee came up from the minors to earn the win
and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Sunday to end their
seven-game losing streak.

Gee, promoted from Triple-A Buffalo, said he had travel delays
in Providence, R.I., and Philadelphia before finally arriving in
Atlanta about 1 a.m. on Sunday.

“Yesterday was a long day,” Gee said. “I was stuck in the
airport all day.”

His baggage never arrived, so he had to borrow Thole’s shoes and
Bobby Parnell’s glove.

“It’s the same game out there, no matter what glove you’ve
got,” Gee said.

Gee left Turner Field in a shirt and tie borrowed from another
teammate, Mike Nickeas.

He also left with a win and a guarantee of at least one more
start in New York’s rotation after ending the Mets’ longest skid
since 11 straight losses in 2004.

“It’s our biggest win so far, I can tell you that,” manager
Terry Collins said. “The key today was Dillon Gee getting us
innings.”

Collins used his roster as if managing a postseason game.
Starting pitchers Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey threw in relief
behind Gee.

“It’s both their days to throw anyway,” Collins said. “They
were going to throw (in the bullpen) anyway.”

Gee (1-0) gave up five hits and a run in 5 2-3 innings to beat
Tommy Hanson (1-3).

“He kept us off balance most of the game,” Braves catcher
Brian McCann said.

Collins shook up the lineup, moving Thole, the Mets’ catcher, up
from the No. 8 spot to hit behind leadoff hitter Jose Reyes. Thole
had run-scoring singles in the first and fifth innings.

“Believe me, we haven’t played up to our capabilities, but
we’re a good team,” Collins said.

More help could come soon. Collins will meet with outfielder
Jason Bay on Monday, and Bay could come off the disabled list
Tuesday in New York against Houston.

“I hope he’s ready to play,” Collins said. “I hope he’s ready
to hit, but to get him back and get him in our lineup means a lot
to us.”

Bay, on the disabled list with a rib cage injury, was 0 for 3
while playing seven innings in his second injury rehab game with
Class-A St. Lucie on Sunday. He was 1 for 2 on Saturday night with
an intentional walk.

Atlanta’s Jason Heyward hit a homer off Jason Isringhausen in
the eighth.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his second save.
Chipper Jones walked to lead off the ninth and was stranded on
third when Rodriguez struck out pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad.

The Mets bounced back after being swept in doubleheaders by the
Braves on Saturday and by Colorado on Thursday.

Ike Davis drove in Thole with a single in the first inning.

Thole hit eighth in each of his previous 11 starts.

The Mets needed Gee after placing right-hander Chris Young on
the 15-day disabled list Saturday with right biceps tendinitis.
Young will miss at least one more start, so Collins said Gee will
have another start this week.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez also altered his lineup. Heyward
hit second, McCann hit third and Dan Uggla hit fourth as Jones was
given a break after playing both games of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Jones entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth.

Uggla led off the second with a triple and, following a walk to
Eric Hinske, scored on Freddie Freeman’s single. The Braves loaded
the bases following a single by Alex Gonzalez, but with one out
Hanson whiffed on a squeeze play and Hinske was caught in a
run-down between third base and home to end the inning.

Hanson said he didn’t miss the sign to bunt.

Hanson struck out nine in five innings but gave up three runs on
five hits and two walks.

Notes: 3B David Wright and a group of kids had an impromptu game
of catch before the game that began when Wright threw a ball into
the stands. Instead of keeping the souvenir, a kid tossed the ball
to Wright, who then threw it back to start a game of catch with
several young fans that lasted several minutes. … Wright had
three strikeouts and hit into a double play. … The Mets
designated LHP Pat Misch for assignment to clear a spot for Gee.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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