By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Dillon Gee outpitched Jair Jurrjens to remain
unbeaten this season and Jose Reyes hit a bases-loaded triple,
leading the New York Mets past the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Saturday
Pinch-hitter Jason Pridie snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI
single in the seventh and the Mets took advantage of an error by
shortstop Alex Gonzalez to score five times in the inning.
New York’s struggling bullpen finally preserved a lead, too,
with Pedro Beato and Tim Byrdak combining for two perfect innings
to close it out.
The Mets set an unwanted major league record Friday night: Their
last six home losses have all come in games in which they led in
the seventh inning. The bullpen had a 10.57 ERA over the previous
Gee (6-0) won his fourth straight start, needing only 85 pitches
to get through seven innings before he was lifted for a
pinch-hitter. The cool-as-a-cucumber rookie allowed four hits and
walked two while finishing with a pair of strikeouts.
He had to be sharp in his matchup with Jurrjens, the National
League pitcher of the month for May. The two pitchers came in with
the top winning percentages in the league.
New York has won all eight of Gee’s starts this season, making
him the only pitcher who has made at least five starts without his
team losing any of them.
Jurrjens (7-2) was cruising along until his defense let him down
in the seventh.
With one out, slumping Jason Bay hit a grounder to Gonzalez and
the normally sure-handed shortstop fumbled it as he tried to make
the transfer from his glove to his throwing hand.
It was Gonzalez’s fourth error of the season.
Josh Thole followed with a double to right and Jurrjens grazed
Ruben Tejada’s uniform top with a pitch, loading the bases. Pridie
came off the bench and punched a broken-bat single to right to put
New York ahead 1-0.
That was it for Jurrjens, who threw 58 of his 90 pitches for
strikes. Scott Proctor came on and Reyes ripped an 0-1 pitch into
the right-field corner for his major league-leading 10th triple,
prompting fans to chant his name.
One night earlier, Reyes made a crucial error that allowed
Atlanta to tie the game in the eighth inning of a 6-3 victory. A
few innings before that, about 800 fans met on a pedestrian bridge
beyond the right-center wall to cheer Reyes and urge Mets
management to not trade the All-Star shortstop, who can become a
free agent after the season.
Justin Turner added a sacrifice fly, making it 5-0.
The Braves dropped to 13-7 at Citi Field and failed again in
their third attempt to move a season-high seven games over .500.
New York improved to 4-5 on its 10-game homestand.
Jurrjens allowed four runs _ three earned _ and six hits in 61-3 innings. He struck out six and walked none. His major
league-best ERA rose from 1.51 to 1.75.
In his first nine starts this season, the right-hander had gone
at least six innings and not allowed more than two earned runs. The
Braves said the only other pitchers in major league history to do
that were Ubaldo Jimenez, who went 12 games last year, Randy
Johnson (2000) and Lefty Gomez (1937), according to the Elias
NOTES: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Chipper Jones will be
rested Sunday night and LF Martin Prado will move to 3B. … Joe
Mather made his first start in CF for Atlanta. Jordan Schafer is
day to day with a small sinus fracture after fouling a bunt off his
face Friday. The Braves said there is no serious damage to his nose
or eyes and he will not need to go on the disabled list. … Bay
was dropped from fourth to sixth in the batting order. He went 0
for 4 and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He has gone 15 games
without an extra-base hit. … Mets manager Terry Collins said he
needs to take it upon himself to get Jason Isringhausen a break
every once in a while because the veteran reliever always says he
is fresh enough to pitch.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)