Mets rally to beat Braves, 6-4
ATLANTA – Turner Field has been home to so many nightmare endings for the Mets, yet it may be a fantastic comeback that highlights their final series at that ballpark.
The Mets rallied from a two-run deficit in the eighth and a four-run hole in the sixth to beat the Braves, 6-4, on Friday night.
Curtis Granderson homered and stroked the game-tying RBI single, and Kelly Johnson provided the go-ahead RBI single with one out in the eighth.
The Mets (75-66) have won six games and are 4-0 to begin this road trip.
The Mets’ five-game winning streak was in danger when they rallied in the eighth inning thanks to some shoddy defense by the Braves. They recorded only two hits in the inning but sent 10 batters to the plate and scored four times.
The Braves’ Mauricio Cabrera struggled with his command and walked the leadoff batter. Jose Reyes then reached when shortstop Dansby Swanson botched a fielder’s choice. Another walk loaded the bases, and Yoenis Cespedes hit a sacrifice fly to right field to pull Mets within one run.
Granderson followed with an RBI single to left to tie the game, and ex-Brave Johnson came through with another clutch hit, an RBI double for a 5-4 lead. Michael Conforto later was hit by a pitch to force in a run, and the Mets had battled back to claim a 6-4 lead.
The outburst came after the Mets were stymied by Julio Teheran, who continues to have their number although they finally scored a run against them for the first time this year.
Teheran had blanked the Mets over 22 innings before surrendering the homer to Granderson, and it’s the longest scoreless streak by any pitcher against a team this season. The Mets had not scored against Teheran in 29 innings dating from last season before that blast.
Granderson now has homered in a career-high four straight games and has six homers in his past 10 games.
The rally took Robert Gsellman after the hook after a sub-par outing that came within one strike of being solid.
With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the fifth on Matt Kemp’s second-inning homer, Gsellman got ahead in the count, 1-2, against Adonis Garcia but surrendered an RBI single up the middle. Another single and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, and then Gsellman allowed a two-RBI single through the right side to Nick Markakis for a 4-0 Braves lead.
Gsellman allowed seven hits and struck out six in five innings, his shortest outing as a starter and the first time he didn’t complete six innings.
He had been pitching well before this blip, and the Mets are going to need him, Seth Lugo and Rafael Montero to continue to throw solid outings as they push for a playoff spot.
Friday was Gsellman’s third start in the majors, and the right-hander has exceeded expectations since entering the rotation in place of Jon Niese. He entered the night with a 2.87 ERA, and manager Terry Collins complimented him and Lugo prior to the opener of this three-game series.
“The thing that has been most impressive with these two young guys … they know whose shoes they are filling,” Collins said before the game. “When they come up here, they have not been intimidated by anything. All they have done is gone out and pitched their game. Their stuff is good. We are seeing the play here. You’ve got to give credit to their character.”
The Mets bullpen did its part after Gsellman left the game. Josh Smoker worked out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the sixth with a strikeout and a double play to keep the Mets within two runs.