The Atlanta Braves bullpen was in rare form Friday night at Turner Field, giving up four runs and blowing two saves in a 10-inning, 7-5 loss to the New York Mets in the series opener.
An RBI-single by Ruben Tejada off Jordan Walden in the 10th inning proved insurmountable for Atlanta, who had already given up two leads in the game, giving them 10 losses in their last 14 games after a 13-2 start.
"Usually when you give our guys a lead, they're going to shut it down," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "But they ended up getting four runs against our bullpen from the eighth inning on. That doesn't usually happen against our guys."
Mike Minor started out shaky by giving up a two-run homer to John Buck in the first inning and a lead-off home run to Lucas Duda in the second, but he sat down the last 18 batters he faced to complete seven innings with the three earned runs and no walks.
Though the Braves battled back to a one-run lead going into the eighth, Marlon Byrd changed that with a lead-off homer off Eric O'Flaherty. It then looked like the Braves were poised to take back the win in the bottom of the inning when Evan Gattis homered off Brandon Lyons.
"He's definitely a guy you can't make a mistake to, especially up in the zone with a fastball," Kimbrel said. "He hit that good. You can't make mistakes to him and I did. That was the difference in the ballgame."
That set up the fateful 10th inning. With Jordy Valdespin on second with two outs, Walden hit Mike Baxter with a pitch, setting up Tejada's RBI-single on an 0-2 count.
The bullpen effort not only wasted Minor's start but mars Jordan Schafer's career-high four walks and the first multi-hit game B.J. Upton has had since April 18.Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Craig Kimbrel, David Wright, Eric O'Flaherty, Jordan Walden, Mike Minor, MLB, New York Mets, Ruben Tejada