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Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 3

6/18/2013

ATLANTA -- The bar has been set pretty high for Zack Wheeler in the nightcap of a celebrated doubleheader.

Hopefully Mets fans will convince themselves to uncover their eyes and watch.

Matt Harvey carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before surrendering a leadoff infield single to Jason Heyward. The Mets eventually hung on by the skin of their teeth to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon at Turner Field.

Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

Matt Harvey took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning Tuesday afternoon.

Bobby Parnell inherited the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth inning with the Mets clinging to a one-run lead and struck out Chris Johnson.

Parnell ultimately produced the first legitimate multi-inning save of his career when he returned and posted a scoreless ninth. Parnell also was credited with a save for pitching the final three innings of a 9-0 rout on Aug. 5, 2009, against St. Louis.

Harvey -- who topped out at 100 mph -- produced a career-high 13 strikeouts, including six straight in the middle innings. It marked his sixth career double-digit strikeout game. He is the youngest Mets pitcher to reach that strikeout total since Dwight Gooden.

A victim of paltry run support this season, Harvey (6-1) won for only the second time since April 19.

He looked perturbed with how the no-hit bid ended.

Heyward hit a tapper to the right side of the infield grass, which Harvey fielded. Newly anointed first baseman Lucas Duda also broke for the ball rather than reading that Harvey would field it and retreating to the base. So Harvey ended up flipping the ball to an unattended first base for what became an infield single.

Harvey departed with the Mets leading 4-0, the bases loaded and none out in the eighth -- with his pitch count at 116 and having surrendered three hits.

LaTroy Hawkins -- making his 900th career appearance, matching Arthur Rhodes for 23rd all time -- entered and struck out pinch-hitter Brian McCann. Hawkins then surrendered a two-run single to Jordan Schafer as Atlanta pulled within 4-2. Justin Upton followed by grounding into a fielder's choice.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Scott Rice entered and surrendered a run-scoring double to Heyward off the glove of Duda at first base and into right field.

So, after an intentional walk reloaded the bases, Terry Collins finally turned to Parnell, who struck out Johnson and ended the three-run frame.

At least the Mets gave Harvey some runs with which to work.

The Mets opened the scoring in the third, when Marlon Byrd beat out a two-out infield single to third base and Daniel Murphy aggressively hustled home from second base.

John Buck added a solo homer an inning later against left-hander Alex Wood, who was making his first major league start. Buck retook sole possession of the team lead with his 12th homer, breaking a tie with Byrd and Duda. Buck had not gone deep since May 24, against Atlanta's Kris Medlen at Citi Field.

Jordany Valdespin’s bases-loaded walk and Omar Quintanilla’s sacrifice fly in the eighth pushed the lead to 4-0.

Q rating: Quintanilla snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a seventh-inning single.

What’s next: Wheeler makes his major league debut in the 7:10 p.m. nightcap opposite veteran left-hander Paul Maholm (7-5, 3.65 ERA). After posting a 5.70 ERA in his first five starts with Triple-A Las Vegas this season, Wheeler had a 2.98 ERA in his next eight starts with the 51s before the promotion.