Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Ruben Tejada’s RBI single in the eighth inning put the Mets ahead for good as New York took a 7-5 victory over the Braves in the rubber match of this three-game series.
Tejada had two hits and knocked in four runs as the Mets won for the second time in three games.
“We’re not happy with where we’re sitting with our record, but without the play of our young players it would be a lot worse. They played absolutely outstanding baseball all summer long,” Mets manager Terry Collins said about his team, which holds a 73-80 record.
Tim Byrdak (2-0) got the win in relief of starter Dillon Gee, who lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks.
Byrdak signed a one-year contract with the Mets after the game.
Jonny Venters (6-2) gave up the deciding runs to take the loss. Brandon Beachy allowed four runs on five hits and five walks while striking out eight through 4 1/3 innings in the start for Atlanta.
Alex Gonzalez homered for the Braves, who have lost six of their last nine games and sit 3 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals for the NL wild card.
Venters started the eighth for the Braves, who were holding a one-run lead. Lucas Duda struck out to start the inning, but walks to Jason Bay and Justin Turner around a Nick Evans base hit loaded the bases with two outs.
Venters gave a free pass to pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino, tying the game, and Tejada then slapped a go-ahead single into shallow right field. Turner tried scoring from second on the play to put the Mets ahead by two, but Jason Heyward’s throw from right beat him to the plate and Brian McCann applied the tag to keep it a one-run game.
Duda added a solo home run in the ninth inning to give the Mets a little more cushion.
Manny Acosta stranded runners on second and third in the eighth and returned for the ninth.
A Michael Bourn groundout put the tying runs on first and third with two outs, but Acosta got Martin Prado to hit a grounder to second to end the game and give Acosta his second save of the season.
“We fought but we just couldn’t hang on to the lead. They kept coming back, we kept coming back. At the end they were victorious,” said Bourn.
Atlanta struck first in the third inning when Bourn led off the frame with a base hit to center field and came around to score two batters later on Chipper Jones’ double to left-center.
The Mets quickly took the lead, though, in the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Gee worked a walk to push Bay across the plate. Tejada came up next and cleared the bases with a double to left. giving New York a 4-1 lead.
The Braves answered in the home half of the fourth to tie the game. Gonzalez started the frame with a homer over the left-field wall. Heyward then singled, advanced to second on a Beachy sacrifice bunt and came home on Bourn’s base hit up the middle.
Prado singled and Jones walked to load the bases before Bourn scored on a Dan Uggla groundout. McCann was intentionally walked to load the bases again, but Matt Diaz popped out to first to end the inning.
Gonzalez hit a one-out double in the seventh off of Miguel Batista before Batista was replaced by Byrdak on the mound.
Byrdak fanned Heyward but then gave up a run-scoring single to Freddie Freeman, putting the Braves ahead, 5-4.