The New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves, 6-5, on Sunday night in Game 3 of the three-game series at Citi Field. Jon Niese pitched eight innings, and gave up six hits and two walks for one earned run while striking out six. The Mets built a comfortable 6-1 lead with Niese on the mound, but the bullpen nearly undid his hard work in the ninth.
Josh Edgin came in for Niese in the ninth inning and loaded the bases before being relieved by Frank Francisco with two outs. Francisco promptly walked in two runs to pad the Braves' tally. The Mets gave up four walks and a hit-by-pitch to start the inning, before Martin Prado hit a two-run double to pull Atlana within one run, 6-5.
Francisco was replaced by Jon Rauch who was mercifully able to strike out Jason Heyward swinging to end the game. Rauch earned his second save of the season.
Niese's lone blemish came in the second inning when Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run to right center to put the Braves on the board. The Mets had more than enough firepower to counter, however.
David Wright put the Mets on the board in the first inning with a double to right field to drive in Mike Baxter. Ike Davis scored Wright on the next at-bat with a single. Davis scored Wright a second time in the fifth, and both players went 2-for-4 at the plate on the night.
Ruben Tejada put the Mets up 3-1 with a single in the bottom of the second inning. A Jordany Valdespin solo home run in the sixth inning, his eighth of the season, made the score 5-1. Andres Torres capped the Mets' scoring, driving in Valdespin on an eighth inning single.
Braves starter Ben Sheets (4-2) gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings on the mound. He relinquished eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
The Mets will begin a three-game road series with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Chris Young (3-6, 4.87 ERA) and Mat Latos (10-3, 3.81) are the projected Game 1 starting pitchers.
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