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Braves 9, Mets 8 (10 Innings): New York Balks At Thought Of A Sweep

In what has already been a roller coaster of a season, the New York Mets found themselves just two outs away from sweeping a three-game series in Atlanta and then found a new way to lose, falling 9-8 to the Braves in 10 innings.

On a night starter R.A. Dickey couldn't quite get the knuckler to knuckle, the Mets fell behind 6-2 in the fourth inning.  With a game tomorrow night against the Angels waiting for them, it wouldn't have been much of a surprise if the team folded up their tent and prepared for the trip home.  Instead, Terry Collins' pesky squad continued to fight.

Jason Bay kicked off the comeback with an RBI single to cut the lead to three.  Then Scott Hairston, getting the rare start in center field, launched a Scott Proctor pitch into the right field stands to tie the game at six.

Hairston then struck again in the seventh inning, this time with the bases loaded.  Well, he struck out, but the ball got away from Brian McCann allowing Carlos Beltran to score from third to give the Mets a 7-6 lead.  New York added a run in the eighth thanks to a bizarre series of plays. 

Angel Pagan grounded to third, Jones threw high to first and Pagan stumbled over the bag while trying to avoid the high tag and was ruled safe.  Replays showed that Pagan's foot never touched the bag.  Following a Jose Reyes groundout and Justin Turner walk, Carlos Beltran sent a double play ball to Jones.  With Turner bearing down on Dan Uggla at second, the Braves second baseman threw the ball away, allowing Pagan to come around and score.

Francisco Rodriguez came on in the ninth looking for his 20th consecutive save.  After striking out the smoking hot Jordan Schafer, Rodriguez quickly made it interesting by giving up a single to Jason HeywardBrooks Conrad came on to pinch hit and deposited the second pitch he saw from the Mets closer into the left centerfield stands to tie the game at 8.

Rodriguez has given up three homeruns this season with all coming this month to the Atlanta Braves.

D.J. Carrasco took the ball for the Mets in the 10th inning trying to follow up his impressive perfect two-inning performance from Wednesday night.  With two outs and no one on, Carrasco surrendered a double to Diory Hernandez to put the winning run in scoring position.

Schafer hit a weak ground ball towards second base that first baseman Lucas Duda somehow ranged over to try and field, only to boot the ball putting runners on first and third.  Carrasco got ahead of the next batter, Heyward, 0-1 but flinched slightly while in the stretch and a balk was immediately called by the home plate umpire.  The balk brought home Hernandez from third with the winning run.

The heartbreaker cost the Mets a shot at the sweep and dropped them back below .500.

Next up for New York is a three-game series at Citi Field against the Los Angeles AngelsChris Capuano (5-6) will take the ball for the Mets, while Joel Pineiro (2-3) starts for the Angels.

Final - 6.16.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
New York Mets 0 0 2 0 4 0 1 1 0 0 8 11 1
Atlanta Braves 1 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 9 14 2
WP: Scott Linebrink (3 - 1)
LP: D.J. Carrasco (0 - 2)

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