Saturday, August 6, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Braves 7
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: After a 62-minute rain delay before the first pitch, the Mets slugged four homers -- two by Justin Turner -- to return to .500 and move back within eight games of the wild-card-leading Atlanta Braves. The Mets snapped a five-game losing streak. Turner’s second shot, a two-run homer in the fourth, staked the Mets to a 7-5 lead.
Jason Bay and Josh Thole also homered. The Mets had not produced four homers in a game since June 13, 2010 at Baltimore, when David Wright had a pair and Chris Carter and Bay also went deep.
Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson served up all four long balls. The last pitcher to allow four or more homers against the Mets: Livan Hernandez, on April 13, 2006 with Washington.
Turner had a multi-homer game for the first time as a major leaguer. He last had accomplished the feat on July 29, 2010 with Triple-A Buffalo at Columbus.
Turner’s last homer had come June 1, off Pittsburgh's Daniel McCutchen.
Thole’s solo homer had pulled the Mets even at 5 earlier in the fourth. It was his second long ball of the season, the other coming June 28 at Detroit against Rick Porcello. Thole finished 3-for-4 and reached base all four plate appearances.
WRIGHT STUFF: Wright produced an RBI double for a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Wright is hitting .390 (23-for-59) with 15 RBIs in 14 games since returning from the DL.
ON THE MONEY: Thole threw out Michael Bourn attempting to steal in the fourth, ahead of Martin Prado’s triple. Thole has thrown out four of eight would-be base stealers since July 24. (Bourn successfully swiped second base in the eighth.) Before the current surge of success, nine straight had been successful against Thole.
BRAVE FRONT: Jon Niese allowed five third-inning runs as the Mets fell behind 5-2. Niese departed after five innings, but nonetheless improved to 11-8.
A pair of hitting streaks were extended in the big inning against Niese.
Freddie Freeman’s broken-bat RBI single to center extended his hitting streak to 20 games and pulled the Braves within 2-1. Dan Uggla then extended his hitting streak to 27 games and loaded bases for Chipper Jones. Jones produced a game-tying RBI groundout. He now has 147 career RBIs against the Mets. That’s third all time against the Amazin’s, trailing only Willie Stargell (182 RBIs) and Mike Schmidt (162). David Ross’ two-run single was the big blow in the five-run frame.
WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (10-3, 3.69), whose turn was rained out Wednesday against Florida, pitches for the first time since July 29. He now opposes left-hander Mike Minor (1-2, 4.59). Minor was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to take the start in place of Jair Jurrjens, who landed on the disabled list before Saturday’s game with a right knee strain. Jones, who had last started July 25, is not scheduled to start at third base in the series finale as he eases back from knee and then quadriceps injuries.