Reed Johnson was not going to be denied. A day after having a game-tying home run robbed, the Atlanta Braves outfielder came through the go-ahead homer in the ninth inning in a 2-1 win, beating the New York Mets in the opener at Citi Field on Monday.
Having been shutout through eight innings, the Braves entered the ninth down 1-0. Brian McCann and Evan Gattis started the inning with singles off Bobby Parnell. John Buck's passed ball moved both runners up, putting McCann in position to score on a game-tying ground out by Chris Johnson.
Reed Johnson then came through with a pinch-hit RBI-single up the middle.
It first appeared that the Braves were going to lose while wasting opportunities again, just like Sunday's rubber game loss to the Chicago White Sox. Dillon Gee no-hit the Braves through six innings until Freddie Freeman singled to start the seventh. Two batters later, Gattis hit a single and Dan Uggla got hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That threat was wasted, however, when Chris Johnson hit into a fielder's choice to cut down the run at home and Joey Terdoslavich swung and missed at three pitches that would have been balls.
The 30th come-from-behind win of the year for the Braves spared Julio Teheran from one of the toughest luck losses of the season. The only run he gave up to the Mets came in the fourth inning, when Justin Upton missed a sliding catch attempt that resulted in Marlon Byrd legging out a triple. Ike Davis followed with an RBI-single.
With rain coming down in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel struggled with his control by hitting a batter and walking a man to put two Mets on with two outs. Justin Turner hit a sinking flyball to the left-center gap that would have at least tied the game, but Jason Heyward made a tremendous diving catch to end the game.
It was Heyward's first game back since missing six games with a strained hamstring. He will play in centerfield until B.J. Upton returns from the disabled list.
The Braves, playing entirely out of character, won despite not hitting a homer and went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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