Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Jose Reyes scored a pair of runs and Jon Niese worked 6 1/3 strong innings to lead the New York Mets past the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game set from Turner Field.
Reyes went 3-for-5 to record his major league-leading 34th multi-hit game of the season. Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Mets, who have won two of three and eight of their last 12.
Niese (6-5) allowed two runs on five hits while striking out four and issuing zero walks.
Tim Byrdak recorded a pair of crucial strikeouts in relief and Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect ninth to earn his 19th save of the season.
Jair Jurrjens (8-3) allowed four runs on eight hits and a season-high five walks while striking out three over 5 1/3 innings to drop his first game at home this season.
Reyes set the table in the first, beginning the game with an infield single before stealing second and coming around to score on a Beltran single to center.
Spurred by Ross, the Braves responded in the second. With two-down, Ross knocked a single to center, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a Joe Mather single to right, tying the score at a run apiece.
Reyes again got things started in the third with a single to left. Willie Harris followed with a single and, with Beltran batting, Reyes and Harris executed a double steal. Beltran eventually popped out, but Daniel Murphy worked a walk to load the bases. Angel Pagan then singled to center, scoring Reyes. Lucas Duda followed with a sac fly to center, giving the Mets a 3-1 lead, before Josh Thole grounded out to end the threat.
Reyes, continuing to leave his mark on the game, drove a ball up the middle in the sixth to score Ruben Tejada from second.
New York eventually put men on second and first with one down in the frame to drive Jurrjens from the game. George Sherrill spelled Jurrjens and induced Beltran and Murphy into consecutive popouts to end the inning.
With one down in the seventh, Alex Gonzalez grounded a ball to short and Reyes, finally exuding a flaw, stumbled and unleashed a multiple-hopper to first, which Gonzalez easily beat for a single. A passed ball allowed Gonzalez to advance to second and a double by Ross cut the Mets’ lead to two and forced Niese from the game. Pedro Beato spelled Niese, only to walk Mather, before Byrdak came in to strike out pinch-hitters Brian McCann and Diory Hernandez.
In the eight, Uggla belted a hanging curve from Jason Isringhausen over the fence in left to pull the Braves within one. The next batter, Chipper Jones, also got a hold of a hanging curve, but Beltran made a leaping catch against the right field wall.
Attempting add insurance in the ninth, New York loaded the bases with two down, but Tejada went down swinging to end the inning.