Mets Find Relief in Atlanta
By GEORGE HENRY Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) _ David Wright hit two solo homers, New York’s bullpen pitched five-plus scoreless innings and the Mets overcame an injury to starter Jonathon Niese in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
Niese left the game in the fourth with left shoulder discomfort and the Mets trailing 3-2, but the Mets’ bullpen shut down Atlanta for the next 5 2-3 innings.
Closer Bobby Parnell earned his 11th save in 14 chances by facing the minimum in the ninth, retiring Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton on groundouts and B.J. Upton on a lineout.
LaTroy Hawkins (2-0), New York’s third pitcher, earned the victory after allowing two hits and striking out two in two innings.
The Mets have won four of six, thanks in part to a bullpen that’s 1-0 with a 1.55 ERA over the last nine games.
Mike Minor (8-3) allowed nine hits, four runs and two walks in six-plus innings for Atlanta. The left-hander struck out six.
Wright, who went 3 for 4, has 32 homers against Atlanta, his most against any opponent, including 18 at Turner Field.
In his last 14 games overall, Wright is hitting .407 with four homers and eight RBIs since June 5. It was his 20th multihomer game and second this season.
Atlanta used four singles in the third to go ahead 3-1. Chris Johnson’s RBI single scored Freeman from second and moved Justin Upton to third. Gerald Laird’s RBI single drove in Upton.
Those runs came off Niese, who winced in the fourth after making a pitch to Tyler Pastornicky. Niese motioned to the dugout that he was hurt and was done for the night after manager Terry Collins visited the mound.
Niese gave up eight hits and three runs with five strikeouts in 3 1-3 innings.
Wright gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first with his 10th homer and led off the fourth with his 11th to cut Atlanta’s lead to 3-2.
After Wright’s second homer, New York loaded the bases with no out, but Minor escaped the jam on Juan Lagares’ flyout and Omar Quintanilla’s double play grounder.
Andrew Brown’s pinch-hit homer to lead off the Mets’ fifth tied to score at 3-all.
David Aardsma replaced Niese and pitched out of a jam with runners on first and second when Justin Upton lined out. After Hawkins faced four batters in the fifth and four in the sixth, Brandon Lyon faced the minimum in the seventh.
The Mets took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh. Omar Quintanilla doubled on the 10th pitch he saw from Minor and scored from second when pinch-hitter Josh Satin doubled down the right-field line to chase Minor.
Jordan Walden got the next six outs, facing the minimum, for Atlanta.
In the eighth against Lyon, Andrelton Simmons reached with one out on Wright’s fielding error and advanced to third on Pastornicky’s broken-bat single to right.
Josh Edgin ended the threat when Jason Heyward grounded out.
Luis Avilan faced the minimum for Atlanta in the ninth.
NOTES: Braves 3B Chris Johnson committed three errors, including two on the same play in the ninth. … Niese’s road ERA rose to 6.66 in five starts this year. … On a bobble-head night for B.J. Upton, the promotion’s namesake went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. Upton, who signed a five-year $75.25 million contract that’s the biggest in franchise history, is batting.169 in his first season with Atlanta … Niese missed a turn in the rotation with tendinitis in his left shoulder late last month, but avoided the disabled list. He received 12 days of rest before making his next start June 9, a no-decision against Miami in which he allowed two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings.
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