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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Braves 4, Mets 3

By Adam Rubin

ATLANTA -- Zack Wheeler’s perfect record against the organization he cheered growing up ended with a thud. Not that he had much margin for error given his team’s anemic offense.

Jason Heyward went 3-for-3, drove in two runs and scored twice against Wheeler, who departed after five innings, and the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the Mets, 4-3, Wednesday at Turner Field.

Wheeler, who had been 3-0 in his career against the Braves, ultimately was charged with four earned runs on eight hits while striking out six.

The Mets made it interesting in the ninth, scoring three times with two outs on a Juan Lagares two-run single and RBI single by Travis d'Arnaud against Craig Kimbrel. But the Mets left the tying run on third base when Kimbrel struck out Ruben Tejada to end the game.


Todd Kirkland/Associated PressZack Wheeler allowed four runs in five innings against the Braves on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, Ervin Santana shut down the Mets in the right-hander’s Braves debut. Santana limited the Mets to three hits in eight scoreless innings. His first 20 pitches were strikes.

The Mets finished with six hits and now are hitting an MLB-worst .190 (48-for-252) through eight games this season.

After Santana required only seven pitches to dispose of the Mets in the top of the first, Heyward had an 11-pitch battle to lead off the bottom half against Wheeler. Heyward smoked pitch No. 11, a 96 mph fastball, over the right-field wall for his fourth career leadoff homer.

Heyward also had an RBI single in what became a three-run fifth. Freddie Freeman contributed a two-run single that frame as Atlanta took a 4-0 lead.

Web gems: Lagares produced his latest spectacular fielding play in center field. It came in the first inning, when he crashed into the outfield wall while snaring Freddie Freeman’s line shot. Lagares seemed to injure his right arm on the play, which left a tear in the wall. But Lagares remained in the game with no evident ill effects.

Lagares wasn’t the only player providing fielding highlights at Turner Field. On d’Arnaud’s grounder in the second, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons fired a laser from the outfield grass while on the ground to record the out at first base.

Simmons’ fielding prowess provided a stark contrast to the opposing shortstop Tejada's early issues. Simmons beat out an infield single to shortstop in the first inning. Later that frame, Tejada lost the handle while fielding Chris Johnson’s grounder and had to settle for a fielder’s choice at second rather than a double play.

Off the schneid: Under-the-weather David Wright, who participated in an extra batting-practice session in the early afternoon, snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a fourth-inning single against Santana. Wright finished 2-for-4. He nearly had a three-hit game, but was robbed on the track in right-center by Heyward in the sixth.

What’s next: Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second Mets start as the teams play the rubber game at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. Mejia opposes rookie right-hander David Hale (0-0, 0.00 ERA), a Princeton product.