Working with a six-man bullpen has proven to be more challenging for the Atlanta Braves than originally thought. Cory Gearrin gave up three runs in the eighth inning as the New York Mets handed the Braves a 4-2 loss in the series finale Sunday at Citi Field, snapping thier eight-game win streak.
"You come out of here feeling like you've got a chance to sweep them," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "We still won two out of three. But with the game of baseball, the feeling always is, 'What have you done for me lately?'"
Of course, the loss wasn't entirely on Gearrin. The Braves were unable to add to their lead when Gerald Laird singled to start the eighth. He was thrown out at second on Ramiro Pena's botched sacrifice bunt attempt, leaving some scratching their heads as to why Gonzalez didn't send in a pinch-runner for the catcher.
That setup Justin Turner to lead off the bottom of the eighth with a single off Gearrin, who allowed Lucas Duda to hit a ground-rule double down the left field line two batters later. John Buck followed with a game-tying single, and after Gearrin hit Mike Baxter with a pitch, Ike Davis hit a two-run single to give the Mets the lead.
"Anytime you have an opportunity to win a game, you want to win it, especially knowing [closer Craig Kimbrel] is right there," Gearrin said. "Our job is to get him the ball. I don't think it's any bigger deal or less of a deal because of the stuff that has happened with the bullpen. You just want to win games."
Shaun Marcum put together a start for the Mets that simply baffled Atlanta. Instead of looking like the guy who entered 0-5 with a 6.56 ERA, he finished the night with 12 strikeouts over seven innings. Andrelton Simmons had the only two hits off him through the first six innings with a lead-off single in the first and a double in the sixth.
That led to Justin Upton starting the seventh inning with an infield single before Uggla brought him home with his homer, giving the Braves a brief lead and a chance for Teheran to pick up a win. Teheran gave up just one run on a homer by Duda in the fourth in his 6 2/3 innings. He wasn't as sharp as he had been in his previous few starts, as evidenced by his three walks.
"I don't think he was as sharp as we have seen him," Gonzalez said. "But Gerald did a good job getting him through some of those innings. He scattered the ball around a little bit, but he left the game giving up just one run."
The Braves now travel north of the border to play the Toronto Blue Jays in a two-game set.
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