Squandered opportunities emerge again for Braves
by Howie Rumberg
Associated Press Sports Writer
July 23, 2013 11:52 PM | 854 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sprayberry product Marlon Byrd (6) leads Daniel Murphy (28) and Omar Quintanilla in the post-game high-five line Tuesday, after the Mets’ win over the Braves.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Sprayberry product Marlon Byrd (6) leads Daniel Murphy (28) and Omar Quintanilla in the post-game high-five line Tuesday, after the Mets’ win over the Braves.
Associated Press photo
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NEW YORK — Carlos Torres pitched six impressive innings as a fill-in starter and had an RBI single, Ike Davis turned an angry crowd in his favor with a go-ahead double in a three-run sixth and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Tuesday night.

John Buck had a run-scoring single and Juan Lagares a sacrifice fly in a sixth inning that helped the Mets beat Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (6-10) for the first time in eight starts.

Torres (1-1) gave up seven hits, including a home run to Andrelton Simmons on the second pitch of the game, in his second start of the season, pitching out of trouble in the first four innings. The one run actually caused his ERA to increase to 0.94 in 28 2/3 innings this season — 12 appearances.

The 30-year-old right-hander made his first start for the Mets on July 13, when Matt Harvey was skipped ahead of the All-Star game. With Jonathon Niese on the disabled list because of a partial tear in his rotator cuff and Shaun Marcum out after having shoulder surgery — he was placed on waivers earlier Tuesday — Torres earned another start with a five innings of one-run ball against Pittsburgh.

Bobby Parnell bounced back from wasting a 1-0, ninth-inning lead in a 2-1 loss Monday night to pitching a perfect ninth for his 19th save. The Mets have won seven of 11.

The Braves had ample opportunities to pad their lead in the early innings. But they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position over the first four innings and were 1-for-8 overall. The NL East leaders fell to 2-3 on their seven-game trip.

Medlen, who lost his third straight start, is used to the lack of support. Coming in, Atlanta had averaged 2.3 runs while he is in the game.

While the Braves were squandering chances, the Mets took advantage of their first baserunners — in the third.

Lagares, the NL player of the week, doubled just inside the right field line and scored on Torres’ slapped single through a draw-in infield to tie it at 1.

They went ahead for good in the sixth. Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled leading off. After Charles Johnson lunged toward third base to snare former Sprayberry High School standout Marlon Byrd’s grounder and then throw to second off one knee for the force, Davis lined a double off the base of the wall in right field to give New York the lead. Relentlessly booed after tapping back to the mound and striking out in his first two at-bats, the slumping Davis was given a huge ovation as he stood on second base.

Batting just .176 coming in, Davis drove in a run for a second straight game after not notching an RBI since July 5, his first game back from the minor leagues.

Buck followed with a single to center for a 3-1 lead that chased Medlen. Lagares’ flyout to right field added another run.

Medlen gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He dropped to 4-1 in 18 outings against New York.

NOTES: Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia will start the opener of a doubleheader in Washington on Friday. The 23-year-old Mejia had Tommy John surgery in June 2011. He made five September appearances last year, but has been on the DL since the end of spring training with elbow inflammation. Manager Terry Collins said: “We wanted him to understand — what he’s hearing today about (Zack) Wheeler, (Matt) Harvey, was all about Jenrry Mejia three years ago in the same vain.” ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was still gushing about Jason Heyward’s game-ending diving catch Monday night, saying it might’ve been the best catch he’s seen all season. ... It was “Star Wars” night at Citi Field. ... There was a sunshower before the game.

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