Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Chipper Jones singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets in the rubber match of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Alex Gonzalez, Jose Constanza and Jason Heyward each homered for the Braves, who have won three of their last four.
Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla extended his career-high hitting streak to 28 games with a two-out single in the eighth, while Braves rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 to halt his personal-best hitting streak at 20 games.
Recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday after Jair Jurrjens landed on the 15-day disabled list, Mike Minor was charged with four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Minor hadn’t pitched for the Braves since a 5-1 win against Toronto on June 21.
Mets starter Dillon Gee gave up five runs, six hits and three walks over five innings.
“I didn’t get the job done, I pitched terrible,” Gee said.
New York trimmed its deficit to 5-4 with two run-scoring singles off Atlanta reliever Eric O’Flaherty.
With men on second and third, pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy greeted O’Flaherty by hitting a soft grounder up the third base line to plate Jason Bay, who walked to begin the sixth. Willie Harris then found a hole on the right side of the infield to bring home Nick Evans.
Murphy left with an apparent left knee injury in the top of the seventh. He was hurt when Constanza drove his foot hard into the side of his knee while stealing second base.
The Mets pulled even with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Bay, who singled and stole second base, came around to score on Angel Pagan’s sinking liner that eluded left fielder Martin Prado. Pagan wound up on second with a double. It was the first earned run O’Flaherty gave up since June 1 — a streak of 26 appearances.
Bobby Parnell (3-4) gave up a leadoff single to Gonzalez in the ninth and the runner moved to second on a Constanza’s sacrifice bunt. After pinch-hitter Eric Hinske worked a walk, Gonzalez scored on Jones’ single to right field.
“Pressed into duty and came up at the right time, a good situation,” Jones said.
The hit made a winner out of Jonny Venters (6-1), while Craig Kimbrel tossed the ninth to earn his MLB-best 34th save of the season.
Heyward gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second when he opened the frame by smashing his 12th homer over the center field wall.
New York moved ahead in the bottom of the inning on a pair of two-out, RBI singles by Gee and Harris. After Gee helped his own cause with a liner to left field, Harris lofted a pop-up that both Uggla and center fielder Michael Bourn appeared to lose in the sun. Harris pinch-hit for shortstop Jose Reyes, who departed with stiffness in his left hamstring.
Gee struck out Gonzalez swinging to escape a bases-loaded jam in the third. But Atlanta used its speed to tie the game in the next inning.
Constanza turned a ground ball to the pitcher into an infield hit. A groundout moved him to second and he took third on a wild pitch. After Gee walked his counterpart, Constanza scored on Bourn’s fielder’s choice.
The Braves added three runs in the fifth when Heyward drew a two-out walk and Gonzalez followed with a two-run blast to left field. Constanza launched Gee’s next pitch over the wall in right-center for his first career major league home run.