Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Chipper Jones’ RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave the Braves a 1-0 victory over the Mets in the second test of a three-game set.
Tim Hudson (15-10) tossed eight scoreless innings for the win. He allowed four hits and walked two while striking out 10 batters.
Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 45th save of the year.
The Braves were eliminated from the NL East title on Saturday as the Phillies took a 9-2 victory over the Cardinals, but Atlanta still holds a 4 1/2 game advantage over St. Louis for the NL Wild Card.
Martin Prado was the only batter besides Jones to record a hit for the Braves, winners in three of their last four games.
R.A. Dickey (8-13) allowed the game’s lone run on three hits and six walks through 7 2/3 innings for the loss.
“You know you’re going to be in for a battle when [Hudson] pitches usually,” Dickey said. “You can either be afraid of the challenge or try to embrace it. I’ve always tried to embrace it.”
Ruben Tejada had two of the Mets’ four hits as New York dropped its ninth game in its last 11 tries.
Dickey did not allow a runner to reach second base until Jones led off the seventh with a double. Jones moved to third with two outs on Brian McCann’s fly out to right, but after Freddie Freeman was intentionally walked Alex Gonzalez grounded into a fielder’s choice to keep it a scoreless game.
The Braves, though, were able to break through in the eighth. Jason Heyward led off the frame with a walk, moved to second on Jose Constanza’s pinch-hit, sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on Michael Bourn’s groundout to second.
After a Martin Prado walk, Jones sent a ball back up the middle for an RBI single. Dan Uggla then worked a walk to load the bases and knock Dickey out of the game.
“We were able to get some runners on and Chipper got a big RBI single there,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Tim Byrdak got McCann to pop out to third to end the inning.
The Mets managed to put a runner in scoring position in three different innings, with their best chance coming in the third.
Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada led off the frame with consecutive base hits, but Dickey went down swinging before Jose Reyes grounded into a 6-4-3 inning- ending double play.
New York went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. The Mets have stranded 66 runners over their last six games.