04/20 17:19 CDT Curtis Granderson lifts Mets over Braves 4-3 in 14
Curtis Granderson lifts Mets over Braves 4-3 in 14
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) --- Slumping newcomer Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in
the 14th inning and the New York Mets outlasted the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on
Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.
David Wright had four hits and New York took advantage of three early errors by
Atlanta, which had won seven of eight. Granderson went 0 for 6 with an error
and was booed all afternoon, but turned those jeers to cheers at the end of a
Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a leadoff walk from Gus Schlosser (0-1) and advanced on
Ruben Tejada's sacrifice bunt. Eric Young Jr. was intentionally walked to bring
up Granderson, hitless in his last 16 at-bats and stuck in a 4-for-44 slide
that's dropped his average to .127.
The runners moved up on a wild pitch and Granderson lifted the next delivery
into medium left field. Nieuwenhuis slid home ahead of Justin Upton's throw,
and the Mets mobbed Granderson near first base.
New York manager Terry Collins moved Granderson from cleanup to the No. 2 spot
in the lineup, hoping to get him going. Granderson, who even tried an
unsuccessful drag bunt, signed a $60 million, four-year contract in December
after an injury-plagued season across town with the Yankees.
Jose Valverde (1-0) worked a scoreless inning for the win, hours after he was
demoted from his closer role in favor of Kyle Farnsworth.
As late-afternoon shadows crept toward the mound, neither team could muster
much offensively in extra innings.
Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out five in three hitless innings for the Mets. Called
up from the minors last week, Matsuzaka was pitching on consecutive days for
the first time in the majors. He made his second career relief appearance in
his season debut Saturday night.
Scott Rice kept it tied in the seventh by getting New York nemesis Freddie
Freeman to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler tossed six innings against his hometown team before
he was pulled for a pinch hitter in a game that lasted 4 hours, 37 minutes.
Braves rookie David Hale wriggled out of bases-loaded jams in the second and
sixth --- both after errors by second baseman Dan Uggla. Hale was making his
second straight start against the Mets and pitching for the first time in 10
days because his scheduled outing Tuesday in Philadelphia was rained out.
Wheeler helped himself with an early RBI grounder and took a 2-0 lead into the
fifth. Then he issued a leadoff walk and the Braves hit three straight one-out
doubles to surge ahead.
Jason Heyward bounced the first one inside first base and Granderson was slow
getting to the ball after it caromed off a retaining wall. He uncorked a wild
throw between home and third that tailed all the way through a small opening in
Atlanta's protective dugout screen, allowing Hale to score on the error.
B.J. Upton doubled off the right-center wall for his second RBI of the season.
Freeman followed with a ground-rule double to give the Braves a 3-2 lead.
New York tied it on an RBI grounder by Lucas Duda in the sixth, a double-play
ball that could have ended the inning if Uggla hadn't botched it. Hale
prevented further damage when pinch-hitter Josh Satin fouled out with the bases
Young was shaken up when he fouled a ball off his right foot in the first
inning. But he scored on Wright's groundout after Justin Upton muffed Young's
slicing fly for a two-base error.
NOTES: Braves reserve Jordan Schafer (finger) opened the seventh with a
pinch-hit single. ... Schlosser pitched 3 2-3 innings and singled for his first
major league hit, moments before the 14th-inning stretch. The souvenir was
taken out of play. ... RHP Julio Teheran (2-1, 1.93 ERA), coming off a
three-hit shutout in Philadelphia, faces Miami RHP Tom Koehler (2-1, 1.89) in
the opener of a three-game series Monday night. ... Wright extended his hitting
streak to 11 games. ... RHP Jenrry Mejia (2-0, 2.81 ERA) starts Monday night
when the Mets begin a four-game series against NL champion St. Louis.