The New York Mets lost their third game in a row Tuesday night, falling to division rival Atlanta Braves 5-4. Daisuke Matsuzaka took the loss for the Mets bringing his record to 3-3 on the year. Matsuzaka lasted five innings, gave up five runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out five. Shae Simmons picked up the win in relief, taking over for Braves starter Mike Minor with one out in the top of the fifth. Simmons pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was the star of the game, going 2-4 with two RBI’s.
After a scoreless inning and a half, Braves left fielder Justin Upton led off the bottom of the second with a strikeout swinging. Right fielder Jason Heyward grounded out to second. Third baseman Chris Johnson singled to right, and second baseman Tommy La Stella was hit by a pitch from Matsuzaka to put runners at first and second. Catcher Christian Bethancourt then blooped a single to center, scoring Johnson to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. On the play, La Stella was tagged out between second and third to end the inning.
Centerfielder Juan Lagares singled to lead off the top of the third and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Daisuke Matsuzaka. Right fielder Curtis Granderson then launched a two run shot to center, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Shortstop Ruben Tejada followed with a single on a soft line drive to center. Second baseman Daniel Murphy lined out to center for the second out. Third baseman Eric Campbell singled up the middle to put runners at first and second. First baseman Lucas Duda struck out swinging to retire the side.
Both starting pitcher Mike Minor and Braves centerfielder B.J. Upton grounded out to first to start the bottom of the third. Andrelton Simmons hit a ground ball that deflected off Campbell’s glove at third and into left field for a single. First baseman Freddie Freeman blasted a shot that hit off the wall in left. Chris Young bobbled the carom, allowing Simmons to score and tie the game 2-2. Freeman landed safely at second with a double. Left fielder Justin Upton followed with a walk but Jason Heyward grounded to second to end the inning. The Mets failed to score in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Chris Johnson led off with a walk. Tommy La Stella grounded out to first, advancing Johnson to second. Christian Bethancourt struck out looking for out number two. Mike Minor then singled up the middle, scoring Johnson to make it 3-2. B.J. Upton followed with a line drive single moving Minor to third. Simmons grounded past a diving Eric Campbell at third into left field. Minor scored and B.J. Upton raced around to score extending the Braves lead to 5-2. Freddie Freeman flied out to left to end the inning.
Curtis Granderson flied out to right leading off the top of the fifth. Ruben Tejada followed with a walk. Daniel Murphy then rocketed a home run to right center, cutting the lead to 5-4. Campbell followed with a single to center, and Lucas Duda lined a single to left, advancing Campbell to third.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled Mike Minor and in came righty reliever Shae Simmons. Simmons induced a lazy fly ball to left from Chris Young for the second out, and struck out catcher Travis d’Arnaud swinging to retire the side. The Braves did not score in the bottom of the fifth, and neither team scored for the next four innings, ending the game.
The Mets look to avoid the sweep tomorrow night when rookie right-hander Jacob deGrom toes the rubber for the Mets against Julio Teheran for the Braves.
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