Braves Defeat Mets For Their Eighth Straight Win
By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Dillon Gee and the New York Mets keep finding different ways to get tagged. Lately, they’ve let the opposing pitcher hurt them _ with a bat.
An encouraging outing quickly went awry for Gee on Saturday when Mike Minor homered for his first two RBIs in the majors. The Atlanta lefty also struck out 10 as the Braves posted their second win in a matter of hours, beating the Mets 6-0.
The Mets lost their fifth in a row and eighth straight at Citi Field. Atlanta extended its winning streak to eight.
In Gee’s previous outing, he gave up a home run to Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood.
“I got to keep looking forward, keep working hard. If I keep looking back on the past there’s nothing good there right now,” Gee said.
Minor’s homer broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning and keyed a five-run burst. Gee had set down the first two batters before the Braves got six straight hits.
“He lost command. Up until that inning everything was down, knee-high. Change of speeds, pitched inside,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Fifth inning, after the pitcher hit the home run, couldn’t get the ball out of the middle of the plate.”
Earlier, Dan Uggla hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning and the Braves won 7-5 in the resumption of a game suspended because of rain Friday night after eight innings with the score tied.
Minor (6-2) then pitched 7 1-3 innings of three-hit ball, and gave himself all the support he needed.
Minor was hardly a force at the plate coming in _ he was a paltry 8 for 108 (.074) in four seasons, striking out in exactly half of those at-bats. He perked up for his first two-hit game in the majors.
In the third inning, Minor singled to become the Braves’ first baserunner of the game, and a bat boy brought him a warmup jacket on a blustery, cool evening. The next time up, with a light rain falling, the 25-year-old lefty never had time to get chilly.
Minor hit a two-run drive inside the left field foul pole off Gee (2-6), connecting after a two-out single by Chris Johnson. The Braves kept swinging, getting doubles by Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons and singles from Jason Heyward and Freeman.
“Today was kind of what we’ve seen,” Collins said. “He’s cruising. He was cruising. And I don’t know what it is, but he’s had a tough time getting out of the fifth inning.”
“The Dillon Gee we know is a guy when he’s cruising, you can just write it down: He’s going to give you seven innings. And for some reason, that third time thru the lineup has gotten to him this year,” he said.
There was a brief delay when Minor batted in the seventh because the wind whipped up the dirt and blew more than 150 hot dog wrappers and other pieces of debris all over the field. Stadium workers cleared the mess when the half-inning ended, shortly after Freeman’s second RBI single.
There was a fireworks show after the game. The seats were nearly empty, with few bundled-up fans sticking around.
The Braves and Mets took 42 minutes to complete the resumption, and there was a 36-minute break between the games.
The suspended game picked up right where it left off, at the start of the ninth inning. There was no national anthem, fans were scattered in the stands and it was cloudy and windy with temperatures in the low 50s.
After Upton grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners in the Atlanta ninth, the Braves won it in the 10th.
Freeman, who homered Friday night before the rain came, drew a leadoff walk from Brandon Lyon (1-2) and took third on a double by Brian McCann.
Uggla, who hit a late home run the previous night at Citi Field, followed with his tiebreaking single. B.J. Upton later squeezed home pinch-runner Jordan Schafer.
Anthony Varvaro (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth. He worked the eighth a day earlier and gave up two runs that made it 5-all.
Craig Kimbrel escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the 10th for his 15th save in 18 tries.
The Braves’ previous suspended game was April 5, 1997, against the Cubs _ it was the second game ever played at Turner Field and was stopped because of rain in the seventh inning. Atlanta won the resumption the next day.
The Mets lost in their first suspended game since Aug. 6, 1986, when the second game of a doubleheader against the Cubs was halted after the seventh for darkness _ Wrigley Field didn’t have lights then. The Mets won the completion the next day.
NOTES: Ike Davis singled in the Mets 10th. He’d struck out in all four at-bats Friday night, leaving him in a 1-for-42 rut. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the second game, and remains hitless in his last 26 tries with runners in scoring position. … Justin Upton singled hard off reliever Robert Carson’s leg in the seventh. Carson stayed in. … Braves RHP Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.99) starts Sunday night vs. RHP Shaun Marcum (0-5, 6.59). … The Braves have won five straight at Citi Field. … The Mets were shut out for the third time this year.
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