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Friday, June 3, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Braves 6, Mets 3

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: Francisco Rodriguez’s saves streak is intact at 16 straight, but the closer was tagged with his second loss even while getting credited with a game finished. Eric Hinske’s solo homer in the ninth off K-Rod broke a tie and the Braves tacked on two more runs for a come-from-behind 6-3 win.

The Mets had a two-run lead entering the eighth. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in the Mets’ last six home losses, they held a lead in the seventh inning or later. That’s a major league record.

Hinske had entered the game in the fifth inning for Jordan Schafer. Schafer bunted a ball that deflected off the bat and struck the upper lip and nose area on the right side of his face. He was forced to leave the game and was sent to the hospital for X-rays.

E-6: Jose Reyes was charged with a two-out error in the eighth inning on Alex Gonzalez’s routine grounder, which allowed the tying run, Dan Uggla, to score from second base. Jason Isringhausen had entered and walked Uggla, who was in a 4-for-54 rut (.074). A wild pitch advanced Uggla to second base.

Terry Collins had inserted Isringhausen to race Uggla even though the slumping Braves second baseman had been 0-for-3 in the game against Jon Niese and 6-for-58 (.103) against left-handed pitching this season.

The Mets have now been outscored 46-26 in the eighth inning this season.

NIESELY DONE: Niese limited Atlanta to two runs on eight hits and one intentional walk in 7 2/3 innings and departed with a one-run lead, but received a no-decision. The outing matched the third-longest of his career. Niese struck out seven in a 111-pitch outing. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his past four outings.

’LOS CAUSE: A day after passing Cleon Jones for seventh on  the franchise’s RBI list, Carlos Beltran drove in Reyes with a fourth-inning single through the right side of the infield to pull the Mets even at 1. It was Beltran’s 526th RBI as a Met. The only players with more RBIs in the uniform: Darryl Strawberry (733), David Wright (682), Mike Piazza (655), Howard Johnson (629), Ed Kranepool (614) and Edgardo Alfonzo (538).

Reyes had appeared to be out attempting a leadoff triple that inning, but ump Gary Cederstrom ruled Chipper Jones’ tag was late.

Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan added RBIs later in the fourth as the Mets took a 3-1 lead.

CHIP SHOT: Jones’ leadoff homer in the eighth off Niese, which pulled Atlanta within 3-2, was his 46th career homer against the Mets, breaking a fourth-place tie with Hank Aaron (45). The only players with more career homers against the Mets: Willie Stargell (60), Mike Schmidt (49) and Willie McCovey (48).

K-ROD TRACKER: As the last Met to throw a pitch, K-Rod was credited with his 22nd game finished. He is on pace for 63 games finished, eight more than the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee, whose first major league start of 2011 came at Turner Field, with a borrowed glove and cleats because an airline lost his gear, opposes Jair Jurrjens (7-1, 1.51 ERA) on Saturday night.