New York Mets: Jose Constanza

Series preview: Mets at Braves

September, 2, 2013
9/02/13
9:00
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen and Julio Teheran in a three-game series at Turner Field.
METS (62-73, third place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (83-53, first place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 8.68) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (9-10, 4.37), 1:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Carlos Torres (3-2, 2.77) vs. RHP Kris Medlen (11-12, 3.58), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (10-9, 3.63) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (11-7, 3.01), 12:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

• The Braves have a two-game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers for home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. Atlanta has produced 21 winning seasons in the past 23 years. The Braves have won 27 of their past 36 games.

• Third baseman Chris Johnson now leads the NL in batting average at .333. St. Louis’ Yadier Molina ranks second at .329. Johnson, who has been dealing with leg soreness, had Sunday’s game off, but nonetheless delivered a pinch-hit single.

Freddy Garcia, 36, was called up by the Braves as rosters expanded. He was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 23 for cash. He will serve as a long reliever/spot starter. Garcia tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday after starter Alex Wood was knocked out in the third inning.

• Rookie Evan Gattis (.238, 15 HR) was demoted for the weekend to Triple-A Gwinnett to get at-bats. He is due to rejoin the Braves on Tuesday, after the International League season ends. Gattis is hitless in his past 17 major league at-bats. He is hitting .188 since June 1. Gattis was replaced on the major league roster by speedster Jose Constanza.

Julio Teheran topped Miami’s Jose Fernandez in his most recent outing. He limited the Marlins to one run in 6 1/3 innings.

Jason Heyward, who suffered a broken jaw when he was struck with a fastball from Jonathon Niese at Citi Field, has started to do limited exercising.

Kris Medlen has a 1.96 ERA over his past four starts. He blanked the Cleveland Indians for seven innings in his last outing.

• Second baseman Dan Uggla returned from the disabled list Wednesday. He underwent LASIK surgery on Aug. 16.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel has 43 saves. He has converted a franchise-record 33 straight chances.

Kimbrel is the first pitcher in major league history to have three straight 40-save seasons beginning with his rookie year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His 90.4 career conversion percentage ranks second in Braves history. The only better: John Smoltz, at 91.1 percent. The only better than those two in major league history (min. 100 chances): Eric Gagne, at 91.7 percent.

Rapid Reaction: Braves 3, Mets 2 (10)

September, 9, 2012
9/09/12
4:28
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: Chipper Jones’ final visit to Flushing as a player is in the books. It ended with a standing ovation, then a Braves sweep.

Brian McCann's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th against Bobby Parnell scored the decisive run as Atlanta won, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

The Braves have won 10 of the past 11 games against the Mets. The Mets failed to exceed three runs for the 10th straight home game, within one of matching the franchise record, set in 1966 and repeated in 1979.


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press
Chipper Jones acknowledges the crowd after taking out the lineup card pregame Sunday.


Jones brought out the lineup card pregame and received a warm ovation. He then pinch hit with one out in the ninth inning with the score tied at 2 and received a standing ovation -- with a smattering of boos -- as he entered the batter’s box. Frank Francisco proceeded to walk Jones on four pitches. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez immediately replaced Jones with pinch runner Reed Johnson. Jones again received a standing ovation and lifted his helmet as he approached the visitors’ dugout. He went 0-for-7 with two walks in the series.

Chipper's career damage in New York: only .190 (16-for-84) with three homers at four-year-old Citi Field, a far cry from his Shea Stadium numbers: .313, 19 homers and 55 RBIs in 323 at-bats.

Johnson, meanwhile, advanced to second base on a wild pitch from Francisco and to third on Eric Hinske’s groundout to first base in the ninth. With two outs, however, Michael Bourn fouled off six pitches before ultimately striking out to strand the potential go-ahead run at third base.

UNHAPPY RECAP: After Tommy Hanson retired the first 10 Mets, Daniel Murphy ended the perfection with a double. The Mets took a 1-0 lead later in the fourth when Murphy scored from second base on an Ike Davis grounder that Dan Uggla dived to his left dove and smothered for an infield single. Davis produced his 78th RBI.

Bourn’s single against Chris Young a half-inning later plated Jose Constanza and evened the score at 1. Young proceeded to walk two more in the frame to load the bases with two out, but the right-hander retired Uggla on an inning-ending grounder to third base.

McCann’s leadoff homer in the sixth against Young staked the Braves to a 2-1 lead. But the Mets answered in the bottom half as Murphy and David Wright produced consecutive two-out doubles. Wright now has a team-leading 80 RBIs, narrowly ahead of the fast-closing Davis.

Wright also now has 1,405 career hits -- 13 shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s franchise record.

Wright did ground out against left-hander Eric O’Flaherty to strand runners on the corners in the eighth and keep the score tied at 2. He also stranded runners on the corners to end the game.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets welcome the first-place Washington Nationals to Citi Field for a three-game series. Collin McHugh (0-1, 3.27 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (18-7, 2.98) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener. Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey, who pitches Tuesday, are tied for the major league lead in wins.

Rapid Reaction: Braves 11, Mets 3

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
8:24
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets lost. And fans had to wait through a 75-minute rain delay to watch the unsightly resolution -- an 11-3 defeat against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Jeremy Hefner was chased during a four-run third inning by the Braves in the shortest start by a Met since Johan Santana recorded only four outs on Aug. 11, also against Atlanta at Citi Field.

Since opening the season series with four straight wins, the Mets have lost nine of 10 against the Braves.


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressRain delayed the game 75 minutes before the start of the seventh inning.


The damage against Hefner during the third: Freddie Freeman snapped an 0-for-16 drought with an RBI single. Brian McCann produced a two-run double -- his first extra-base hit since July 31. And opposing pitcher Kris Medlen delivered an RBI double that gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead and ended Hefner's outing after 2 2/3 innings.

McCann added a two-run homer in the fifth against Robert Carson and matched his career high with four hits.

KING OF THE HILL: The Braves won the 19th straight game started by Medlen, the longest streak in the majors since the Yankees won 20 straight starts by Roger Clemens in 2000.

Medlen went 40 1/3 innings without surrendering an earned run before Lucas Duda's single plated David Wright in the fourth inning and pulled the Mets within 5-1.

FAMILIA SIGHTING: Jeurys Familia, who tossed a scoreless inning in his major league debut in St. Louis, couldn't duplicate that effort in his second appearance. Familia took the mound for the seventh, when the skies opened and play was halted. After the 75-minute delay, he returned to the mound and finally threw a pitch. Familia surrendered three straight singles to begin his appearance, to Dan Uggla, McCann and Jose Constanza. Martin Prado then delivered a two-run single to give the Braves a 10-2 lead.

WHAT'S NEXT: Chris Young (4-7, 4.48 ERA) opposes right-hander Tommy Hanson (12-7, 4.45) in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. series finale as the Mets aim to avoid the sweep. The game will mark Chipper Jones' final playing appearance at Citi Field. Jones is 0-for-7 with a walk through two games of the series. Wally Backman has been scheduled to join the Mets as an extra coach Sunday.

Series preview: Mets vs. Braves

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
4:44
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson this weekend.
METS (65-72, fourth place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (78-60, second place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (10-8, 3.55) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (11-9, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 4.52) vs. RHP Kris Medlen (7-1, 1.56), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (4-7, 4.48) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (12-7, 4.45), 1:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

Chipper Jones makes his final appearance in Queens as a player this weekend. He famously named his son Shea (now 8 years old) after the Mets’ former homer because of his success there.

Jones hit his second walk-off homer of the season Sunday, when he slugged a three-run shot against Philadelphia. He now has nine career game-ending homers, breaking a tie with Hank Aaron for the franchise record. Aaron had two with the Milwaukee Braves and another six after the move to Atlanta. Jones’ two walk-off homers in a season match the major league record for a player who has turned 40. Andres Galarraga also performed the feat twice, in 2001 with the San Francisco Giants.

Jones has 2,714 career hits, one shy of matching Bill Buckner for 60th on the all-time list.

Kris Medlen is the reigning NL Pitcher of the Month. He went 4-0 with an 0.50 ERA (2 ER in 35 2/3 innings) while striking out 35 and walking four in August. Medlen is 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA in seven starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation on July 31.


Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Dan Uggla's .207 average is the lowest in the National League among qualifiers.


He produced a 34 2/3-inning scoreless streak that began with a start against the Mets on Aug. 11. It marked the longest scoreless streak by a Brave since Greg Maddux went 39 1/3 run-free innings in 2000.

Medlen is now 12-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 25 career major league starts. The Braves have won his last 18 starts, a franchise record. The record previously was held by John Smoltz (15 in 1996). The last major league team to win that many consecutive starts by a pitcher was the Yankees in 2000 with Roger Clemens on the mound (20 straight).

• After three games out of the starting lineup, slumping Dan Uggla has now made consecutive starts at second base. Uggla’s .207 average is last among National League qualifiers, a full 13 points worse than runner-up Drew Stubbs of Cincinnati. Uggla’s 150 strikeouts are six shy of matching the franchise record he set last season. Andruw Jones previously held the record, with 147 strikeouts in 2004. Martin Prado started the three games with Uggla on the bench. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez indicated he would pick spots for Uggla to start.

• Catcher Brian McCann went hitless in four at-bats Thursday and is hitting .155 (13-for-84) with no extra-base hits in 24 games since Aug. 1. McCann received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder after Saturday’s game and did not return to the lineup until Wednesday. McCann also received a cortisone shot Aug. 7. He has a frayed labrum and a cyst and may require offseason surgery. David Ross handled the catching duty with McCann unavailable.

• Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has been sidelined since July 8 with a fractured right pinkie, will complete his rehab assignment with Class A Lynchburg and should be activated during the weekend series against the Mets. Ex-Red Paul Janish primarily has handled shortstop in Simmons’ absence. Jack Wilson, who fractured a finger against the Mets in July, was released last week before being activated.

Miguel Batista, who signed a minor league contract with Atlanta on July 27 after declining to go to Triple-A with the Mets, returns to Citi Field in a Braves uniform. He was called up on Aug. 25 and has allowed one run in five innings spanning four relief appearances.

Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran received September call-ups. Teheran received the promotion despite a 7-9 record and 5.08 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett. Jair Jurrjens was bypassed for a call-up. He had a 6.89 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) earlier in the season in the majors. Backup first baseman Lyle Overbay also was among the September call-ups. He had been signed Aug. 20 after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

• Center fielder Michael Bourn is one homer shy of becoming the fourth player in Atlanta history to reached double digits in homers, triples and steals in the same season. The others: Ralph Garr (1974), Marquis Grissom (1996) and Rafael Furcal (2003 and 2005).

• Atlanta acquired infielder Jeff Baker from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named or cash last Friday, at the non-waiver trade deadline.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel notched his 34th save Thursday. He has struck out 94 in 51 1/3 innings.

• The Braves enter the weekend off consecutive 1-0 victories against the Colorado Rockies. Both Braves runs were unearned. The last time a team won consecutive games by that score using unearned runs came in July 1984, with the Los Angeles Dodgers defeating the Cincinnati Reds, according to STATS LLC. Mike Minor took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in the Wednesday victory. Atlanta went 3-for-35 with runners in scoring position during the four-game series against Colorado.

• Call-up Jose Constanza, who injured Daniel Murphy on a slide in 2010, won the International League batting title. Constanza hit .314.

Last series results

Atlanta won, 2-1, at Citi Field, Aug. 10-12 (AP game recaps)

Braves 4, Mets 0: Paul Maholm pitched a three-hitter in his second start for Atlanta and the Braves got two-run homers from Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla. Heyward connected in the first inning to help spoil Matt Harvey's home debut with the Mets. Uggla went deep in the eighth off reliever Josh Edgin for his first homer in more than a month. More

Braves 9, Mets 3: Freddie Freeman had five RBIs in the first two innings and the Braves battered Johan Santana in his return from the disabled list. Michael Bourn had three hits, Chipper Jones chased Santana with an RBI single in a seven-run second inning and Atlanta roughed up the two-time Cy Young Award winner in the worst start of his career. Kris Medlen (3-1) pitched effectively into the seventh inning, striking out seven while improving to 2-0 since joining the rotation. More

Mets 6, Braves 5: Jon Niese handed a five-run lead to the bullpen, then watched from the bench as it started to unravel. Frank Francisco walked a pair of batters with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, then gave up a two-run double to Martin Prado that put the potential tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second. When Jason Heyward then swung and missed at strike three, the slider was in the dirt and rolled under catcher Rob Johnson. Johnson took his time, however, and his throw just beat Heyward for the final out. More

Around the minors 5.10.12

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
10:29
PM ET
GWINNETT 5, BUFFALO 3 (10 innings): A comeback and sweep fell short courtesy of a walk-off two-run homer from reigning International League Batter of the Week Stefan Gatrell against Fernando Cabrera. Buffalo allowed nine total runs in the four-game series. The Bisons trailed 3-1 in the ninth. After Lucas May was hit with a pitch with one out, Omar Quintanilla plated the Buffalo catcher with a double that rolled to the center-field wall. Pinch hitter Bobby Scales followed with a single to score Quintanilla and tie the score. Buffalo had a pair of runners on in the top of the 10th, but Josh Satin and Zach Lutz were left stranded after drawing walks. In the bottom half, Cabrera nearly worked around a one-out single by Jose Constanza. But after striking out Luis Durango, the righty gave up his first homer of the season, to Gartrell. Bisons starter Jeremy Hefner matched a season-high by tossing 7 2/3 innings. It was the fifth time in Hefner's six starts that he has at least completed seven innings. He allowed two runs on six hits to keep his season ERA to a league-best 1.77. Trailing 1-0 early, Buffalo scored its first run in the sixth inning on Valentino Pascucci's team-best 19th RBI, but his first in nine games. Fred Lewis batted in the lead off spot for the first time this season and went 2-for-5. Box

BINGHAMTON 9, NEW HAMPSHIRE 2: Trailing by a run in the sixth, Juan Lagares laced a two-run, bases-loaded single to center to give the B-Mets the lead for good and make a winner of Zack Wheeler in his return from the disabled list. The B-Mets produced 14 hits and pitching staff racked up a season-high 15 strikeouts. The Fisher Cats had opened the scoring, plating a run in the fourth on a sac fly against Wheeler. The righty was activated from the disabled list before the game after missing one start with a right middle fingernail tear. The B-Mets answered with a run in the fifth. Lagares shot a seeing-eye single to center and advanced to third when Mark Sobolewski uncorked a throwing error on Eric Campbell's groundball. Juan Centeno bounced a groundout to shortstop to plate Lagares, tying the score at 1. After the Fisher Cats grabbed the lead with another sac fly in the fifth, the B-Mets pieced together a two-out rally to take the lead in the sixth. Raul Reyes and Jefry Marte started the charge with consecutive singles. After Reese Havens walked to load the bases, Lagares chased Jenkins from the game by lining a two-run single into center. It was Binghamton’s first hit with the bases loaded since April 28. They had been 0-for-11. Wheeler (2-2) allowed two runs on six hits over five innings. Armando Rodriguez took over and struck out five over two scoreless innings. Binghamton added to its lead with more two-out hitting in the seventh. Josh Rodriguez doubled with two out and Reyes hammered an RBI single, giving the B-Mets a 4-2 lead. The B-Mets had a five-run ninth, pounding reliever Clint Everts for five hits and adding another against Matt Wright. After throwing a perfect eighth, Jeff Kaplan returned for the ninth. He loaded the bases to start the frame, but retired three straight to collect his first career Double-A save. The B-Mets (15-17) continue their four-game series against the Fisher Cats on Friday. Right-hander Gonzalez Germen makes his second Double-A start, against right-hander Deck McGuire. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, BREVARD COUNTY 3: Chris Young, in his first minor league start since shoulder surgery last May, tossed five scoreless innings. Ronny Cedeno, on the DL with a side-muscle strain and hoping to be activated this weekend, played a full game at shortstop and went 0-for-4. Danny Muno's solo homer in the top of the ninth gave St. Lucie a 4-1 lead, and the Mets needed that run to hold on. In the bottom half, Adam Kolarek left two runners in scoring position with two out for Adrian Rosario. Rosario issued a walk to load the bases, then surrendered a two-run single before notching his 10th save by retiring Nick Shaw on a groundout. Cory Vaughn returned to the lineup after missing two games with a glute bruise suffered while sliding. Box

SAVANNAH 7, HICKORY 2: Domingo Tapia and Marcos Camarena combined to take a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and the Gnats overcame five errors. Brian Harrison went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Dustin Lawley had three hits and scored twice. The Crawdads were hitless until Jeremy Williams' leadoff single in the seventh against Camarena. Tapia was charged with one unearned runs on no hits and three walks while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. Second baseman T.J. Rivera had two of Savannah's five errors. The Mets' last minor league no-hitter came on Aug. 23, 2009, by Brandon Moore with the Brooklyn Cyclones in a seven-inning game. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 5.9.12

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
12:07
AM ET
BUFFALO 4, GWINNETT 1: Zach Lutz's two-out single plated two runs to cap the scoring in a three-run seventh that broke a 1-all tie. The Bisons have taken the first three of a four-game set with the G-Braves. Oswaldo Navarro and Jean Luc Blaquiere singled to start the decisive inning and advanced on a balk. The bases were loaded when Fred Lewis' single scored Blaquiere. Lutz followed with the exclamation point. Buffalo starter Jeurys Familia allowed one run in six innings, the lone damage coming courtesy of Stefan Gartrell's RBI single in the first inning. Familia (3-1, 4.41 ERA) allowed four hits and struck out six. For the G-Braves, starting pitcher Yohan Flande gave up eight hits but was able to avoid trouble until the seventh. Flande struck out six batters as well, and allowed three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings. After the Bisons took the three-run lead in the top of the seventh, the bullpen stepped in to preserve the lead. Justin Hampson pitched a sound seventh but found some trouble in the eighth, allowing singles to Jose Constanza and Gartrell. But with runners on first and second and one out, Elvin Ramirez relieved Hampson and struck out consecutive batters to end the inning. Ramirez retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first Triple-A save. Lewis went 3-for-5 with an RBI on the night. Box

NEW BRITAIN 5, BINGHAMTON 1: Jefry Marte’s fielding error in the eighth set the table for a four-run inning as the Rock Cats completed a two-game series sweep. With the game tied at 1, Marte booted Joe Benson’s groundball to third to start the eighth. The Rock Cats tagged reliever Erik Turgeon for four hits, including three doubles, and scored four unearned runs to take the lead for good. For the second straight game, the B-Mets grabbed the lead first. In the second, Binghamton collected three consecutive singles against starter Steve Hirschfeld to get on the board. Marte and Raul Reyes started the rally with hits and Juan Lagares gave Binghamton a 1-0 lead with a single. The disastrous eighth overshadowed another strong pitching performance from B-Mets starter Collin McHugh. The right-hander allowed one run on six hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out four. His only blemish was Wilkin Ramirez's solo homer in the seventh. Turgeon (1-3) took over for McHugh in the eighth when things came unglued. Deibinson Romero and Danny Lehmann supplied RBI doubles and James Beresford supplied a run-scoring single. After getting on the board in the second, the B-Mets offense went silent. Binghamton had three hits after the third inning. The B-Mets (14-17) now head to Manchester to start a four-game series against the Fisher Cats on Thursday. Zack Wheeler is due to return from the disabled list for a fingernail issue in the opener. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, BREVARD COUNTY 2: Jenrry Mejia pitched five solid innings in his first minor league start since before Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2011 and the Mets pushed across the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Mejia allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and one strikeout. Mejia pitched five games with Triple-A Buffalo last season before the injury. Angel Cuan (3-1) tossed three scoreless innings in relief to pick up the victory. Cuan allowed one hit and struck out two. Adrian Rosario pitched a scoreless ninth inning and recorded a pair of strikeouts for his ninth save. The Mets took their first lead in the eighth. Wilfredo Tovar hit a leadoff double. Danny Muno reached on a bunt single and Robbie Shields followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs. Wilmer Flores grounded into a double play as Tovar scored the go-ahead run. In the ninth, Cesar Puello tripled and scored on an errant throw past third base. The Mets trailed 1-0 entering the third inning, before pushing across a run to even the score. Alonzo Harris singled and reached second on a balk. Tovar delivered an RBI double. In the fourth, Rafael Fernandez ripped his first homer of the season, a game-tying solo blast over the right-field fence. Chris Young is due to throw 75 pitches for St. Lucie at Brevard County on Thursday. Box

Compiled from team reports

Series preview: Mets at Braves

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
6:23
PM ET

US Presswire
The Mets face (l to r) Tommy Hanson, Randall Delgado and Jair Jurrjens during a three-game series at Turner Field.
METS (6-3, second place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (5-4, third place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.06) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (1-1, 2.70), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Johan Santana (0-1, 0.90) vs. RHP Randall Delgado (1-0, 3.60), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-0, 2.08) vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 7.71), 12:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

Chipper Jones, who underwent March 26 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, made his season debut last Tuesday in Houston with a two-hit game that included a homer against Astros starter Kyle Weiland. Jones had a two-hit game the following day as well. He then was forced out of the lineup for two games with swelling in the surgically repaired knee. He had fluid drained and returned Sunday, when he again homered. The retiring Mets killer turns 40 on April 24. Jose Constanza was optioned to the minors to clear the roster spot for Jones.


Pat Sullivan
Chipper Jones' retirement tour includes parting gifts from opponents. In Houston, Jones received a cowboy hat, which was presented by Craig Biggio.


• Since an 0-4 start, Atlanta has won five straight games.

• Right fielder Jason Heyward is hitting .345 average with two homers and five RBIs, including a long ball Sunday against Milwaukee’s Chris Narveson. Heyward had worked since January with Jones and new hitting coach Greg Walker to rediscover his swing. He developed bad habits last season while dealing with a strained shoulder. His batting average dropped 50 points, to .227, in 2011. His on-base percentage dropped from .393 as a rookie to .319 last year.

• Center fielder Michael Bourn was hitting .188 with one RBI entering Sunday, when he had a three-hit game.

Tim Hudson, who underwent Nov. 28 back surgery, has started a rehab assignment. In his second minor league start Thursday, Hudson allowed five runs on nine hits in four innings with Class A Rome. Hudson is due to make two starts with Triple-A Gwinnett before being activated from the disabled list, beginning Wednesday.

• Right-hander Randall Delgado has tossed exactly five innings in each of his last six major league starts. His pitch counts in those games: 94, 93, 101, 92, 82, 89.

Matt Diaz broke a 311 at-bat homerless drought by going deep against Milwaukee left-hander Randy Wolf on Friday. Diaz had started in left field against southpaws.

Livan Hernandez’s relief appearance against the Mets during the opening weekend was historic. Hernandez’s only other relief appearance came in his major league debut, in 1996. He had made 474 consecutive starts. The only two other pitchers to have 400-plus starts between relief appearances, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: Roger Clemens (681 starts from 1984-2007) and Steve Carlton (544 from 1971-1986).

Chad Durbin, released by the Washington Nationals at the end of spring training, has allowed homers in each of his three relief appearances with the Braves.

• Rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky’s average has slipped to .136. After struggling for the first two-plus weeks of spring training, the 22-year-old Tyler Pastornicky started producing and beat out fellow prospect Andrelton Simmons. Pastornicky hit a combined .314 with seven homers and 45 RBIs in 117 games between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett last season. He arrived in the shortstop swap that sent Yunel Escobar to the Toronto Blue Jays for Alex Gonzalez in July 2010.

Matchups

Gee vs. Braves (career: 2-2, 3.46 ERA)
Jack Wilson 1.000, 1 PA
Jason Heyward .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
David Ross .333, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA
Michael Bourn .300, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 12 PA
Matt Diaz .250, 1 BB, 2 K, 9 PA
Martin Prado .235, 18 PA
Dan Uggla .188, 2 RBI, 3 K, 17 PA
Brian McCann .182, 3 BB, 2 K, 14 PA
Freddie Freeman .091, 1 RBI, 1 K, 11 PA
Eric Hinske .000, 2 BB, 2 K, 8 PA

Santana vs. Braves (career: 3-6, 2.14 ERA)
Matt Diaz .500, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 35 PA
Michael Bourn .357, 1 K, 15 PA
Jack Wilson .333, 9 PA
Chipper Jones .259, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 29 PA
Brian McCann .258, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 32 PA
Martin Prado .182, 2 K, 23 PA
Jason Heyward .100, 1 BB, 3 K, 11 PA
Dan Uggla .048, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 12 K, 22 PA
David Ross .000, 2 BB, 4 K, 8 PA
Eric Hinske .000, 2 K, 5 PA
Freddie Freeman .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Tyler Pastornicky .000, 1 BB, 2 PA

Dickey vs. Braves (career: 2-4, 3.90 ERA)
Chipper Jones .500, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 11 PA
Freddie Freeman .333, 2 BB, 2 K, 14 PA
Jason Heyward .308, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 1 K, 18 PA
Michael Bourn .304, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 26 PA
Brian McCann .176, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 1 K, 22 PA
Eric Hinske .150, 3 BB, 2 K, 23 PA
Martin Prado .150, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 21 PA
Dan Uggla .000, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 26 PA
Jack Wilson .000, 3 K, 4 PA
David Ross .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Juan Francisco .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Tyler Pastornicky .000, 2 PA
Matt Diaz .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Hanson vs. Mets (career: 3-4, 3.48 ERA)
Justin Turner .667, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .625, 1 K, 8 PA
Josh Thole .444, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 19 PA
Ronny Cedeno .400, 1 K, 5 PA
Lucas Duda .375, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 8 PA
Jason Bay .273, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 13 PA
Ike Davis .167, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 14 PA
David Wright .150, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 22 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 BB, 8 PA
Mike Baxter .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Delgado vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Jurrjens vs. Mets (career: 8-5, 3.10 ERA)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis .500, 1 K, 2 PA
Justin Turner .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Ronny Cedeno .333, 3 PA
Josh Thole .308, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 14 PA
Daniel Murphy .280, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 28 PA
David Wright .250, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K, 34 PA
Lucas Duda .250, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Jason Bay .222, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 21 PA
Ruben Tejada .167, 2 BB, 9 PA
Ike Davis .000, 2 BB, 5 K, 11 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Mike Nickeas .000, 1 BB, 2 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 3-0, at Citi Field, April 5-8 (AP game recaps)

Mets 1, Braves 0: Johan Santana pitched five innings of two-hit ball in his long-awaited return from shoulder surgery and David Wright hit an RBI single. New York's revamped bullpen picked up for Santana and shut down the Braves, who fielded an Opening Day lineup without Chipper Jones for the first time since 1996. Atlanta was punchless at the plate, managing only four hits. Santana struck out five and wriggled out of a fifth-inning jam in his first big league appearance since beating the Braves 4-2 on Sept. 2, 2010. He had surgery 12 days later. Tommy Hanson allowed one run on four hits in five innings with three walks for Atlanta. Andres Torres left the game with a left calf injury.

Mets 4, Braves 2: Lucas Duda homered twice and became the first player to take advantage of the pulled-in fences at Citi Field, leading R.A. Dickey and the Mets over Atlanta. David Wright kept hitting with a homer and two singles as the Mets improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2009. Josh Thole lined a go-ahead single with two outs in the fifth inning off well-traveled Livan Hernandez, making his first regular-season relief appearance since his major league debut in 1996. Martin Prado hit a two-run homer for Atlanta. Dickey (1-0) kept the Braves off-balance with his knuckler for six innings, allowing five hits and working around four walks.

Mets 7, Braves 5: Jon Niese took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his first start since signing a rich contract and the Mets completed a season-opening sweep. Niese (1-0) allowed just two balls out of the infield through six innings and retired 15 in a row before walking Dan Uggla on a 10-pitch at-bat leading off the seventh. On the next pitch, Niese's 99th of the game, Freddie Freeman singled cleanly to right. Pitching for the first time since the Mets gave him a $25.5 million, five-year deal, Niese allowed four runs (two earned) and two hits in six-plus innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. Mike Minor (0-1) gave up six runs, six hits and four walks in five-plus innings.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 1, Braves 0

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
3:54
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Johan Santana is back. And the Mets again were winners on Opening Day, improving their MLB-best mark to 33-18 in season openers, thanks to an RBI single from David Wright and clutch relief from Tim Byrdak only 23 days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The Mets announced a Citi Field-record attendance of 42,080.

The only drawback in the 1-0 win against Atlanta: Center fielder Andres Torres is lost with a strained left calf, the same injury that sidelined him during spring training. That likely lands Ruben Tejada in the leadoff spot, with Daniel Murphy the only alternative.

Frank Francisco, who received a cortisone shot Sunday for left knee inflammation and had not pitched since, tossed a scoreless ninth to notch his first Mets save.

YO! Santana tossed five scoreless innings in his first major league game since undergoing surgery on Sept. 14, 2010, to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

After a one-out single by Martin Prado in the first, Santana retired 12 straight Braves until Matt Diaz doubled with one out in the fifth. Santana then walked the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, rookie Tyler Pastornicky and pitcher Tommy Hanson, to load the bases. But the southpaw escaped the bases-loaded jam by retiring Michael Bourn on a comebacker to complete his outing at 84 pitches (50 strikes).

Santana allowed two hits, struck out five and walked two.

His fastball registered 86-89 mph, consistent with the velocity in his final Grapefruit League outing 10 days ago -- and more than enough to twice strike out Dan Uggla swinging at changeups.

Mike Baxter pinch hit for Santana and was called out on strikes to end the fifth inning and strand two runners.

Santana's pitch count was four shy of his longest Grapefruit League outing. He tossed 88 pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in his last outing.

OUCH: Torres came up lame pursuing a shot to right-center off the bat of Pastornicky in the seventh inning, reinjuring his strained left calf. Torres had just returned to Grapefruit League action Monday. It looks like Torres will land on the DL, resulting in the promotion of Kirk Niewenhuis -- or perhaps Vinny Rottino -- from Buffalo.

BIG BYRD: A half-inning after Torres walked, advanced to third on Murphy's second hit of the afternoon, and scored on Wright's single, the Braves threatened to even the score at 1. That's when Byrdak came up big.

Pastornicky was credited with a one-out triple against Ramon Ramirez in the seventh on the play where Torres came up lame. But Byrdak -- only three weeks and two days after knee surgery -- entered and consecutively struck out Jose Constanza and Bourn to strand the potential tying run.

Wright, by the way, has a hit in every Opening Day since his first, in 2005. Josh Thole, Murphy and Wright had two hits apiece.

SUB: With the Mets nursing a one-run lead, Ronny Cedeño replaced Murphy at second base for the ninth inning.

WHAT'S NEXT: Jon Niese takes a physical Friday, and then his new deal -- which guarantees him $26 million over five years -- should be announced Saturday. The Mets are off tomorrow. The series resumes Saturday at 1:10 p.m. with R.A. Dickey, now MLB’s lone knuckleballer, opposing Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens.

Murph, Tejada get to work Saturday

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
5:50
PM ET

Adam Rubin
Ruben Tejada plays catch with Daniel Murphy on Friday morning as Mets players warm up for a pre-intrasquad game workout.
Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy, who have been working together on back fields, get a chance to see game action as a double-play tandem for the first time in a couple of years when Terry Collins pairs them on one side of Saturday's intrasquad game.

Tejada recalled that Murphy and he actually played together in the middle infield for about 20 games with Triple-A Buffalo in 2010. That came just before Murphy's season ended with a medial collateral ligament strain in his right knee, courtesy of a slide from Washington Nationals farmhand Leonard Davis.

Murphy still wears a brace on that knee. He injured the MCL in the left knee last season, also while manning second base, on a slide from Atlanta's Jose Constanza. But that injury, although to the same ligament as in the other knee, is considered less severe.

Murph expresses relief injury only to MCL

August, 8, 2011
8/08/11
7:21
PM ET
Daniel Murphy said he was relieved that the injury was confined to the MCL in his left knee, and did not affect the ACL or meniscus. He had a similar injury to the MCL in his other knee last season.

“I’m frustrated I’m going to have to miss the rest of the year,” Murphy said. “But, considering, it’s probably the best news I could have gotten. I know how this story ends. My right knee felt great this year. I know that this injury isn’t as severe. So I know I’ll be back. It’s just frustrating I have to take these two, maybe three months at the most, I feel like, to get healthy.”

Murphy did not assign any blame to Atlanta’s Jose Constanza, who slid into him.

“It was just an aggressive slide,” Murphy said.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.301 9 53 73
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .848
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155