The Atlanta Braves have not been fun to watch so far this season, and it nearly became an utter nightmare Sunday afternoon when they were swept by the New York Mets, and Jon Niese nearly threw the first no-hitter in Mets history.
Though the Braves drew four walks off Niese in his six-plus innings of work, their first did not come until Freddie Freeman hit a single in the seventh with one on and no out. Before Dan Uggla drew a leadoff walk in the inning, Niese had retired 15 consecutive batters.
Mike Minor, on the other hand, finished with a line that was not indicative of his day. Though he gave up six runs in five-plus innings, he also struck out six and only gave up six hits. He may have allowed four walks, but he ran into some bad luck on hits just touching the foul line to stay fair.
Ruben Tejada lead off the game with a double the lead to a David Wright sacrifice fly to give the Mets a one-run lead. Jason Bay extended the lead with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fourth. with a 2-0 lead, Niese added to his luck and showcased how much has gone wrong for the Braves in the fifth with a two-out check-swing single that kissed the foul line chalk behind third base.
Tejada recorded a career-high four hits, one of which came when he followed with a flared single before Daniel Murphy produced a check-swing opposite-field double that hit the left-field foul line, scoring two runs to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.
Minor exited after issuing a leadoff walk and Lucas Duda single in the sixth. Cristhian Martinez entered and allowed Tejada to hit his second pitch to left field for what proved to be a decisive two-run double.
The Braves finally got on the board immediately after Freeman's hit when Matt Diaz hit a flyball to Lucas Duda in right field and Duda lost the ball in the sun, scoring Uggla and putting men at second and third.
Jason Heyward then registered the first Braves hit with runners in scoring position all year when he stroked a double to the gap to score two. During Jack Wilson's at-bat, Heyward swiped third, leading to Wilson scoring him on a sacrifice fly to cap off the four-run inning, in which Atlanta scored more runs than their first two games combined.
Brian McCann made things more interesting when he hit a solo homer in the eighth, his first hit of the season, but that only brought the score to its final of 7-5 as the Mets sat down the final five Braves batters.
The Braves will try to reverse their fortunes Monday when they begin a three- game series at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros. Brandon Beachy will take the hill against former Philadelphia Phillies lefty J.A. Happ in the 8:05 start.
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