Showing posts with label 2012 Regular Season Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2012 Regular Season Games. Show all posts

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Happy Recap: Game 162 - Mets at Marlins - Hairston, Davis Lead Mets to Victory 4-2

Marlins Park (Miami, FL)
N.Y. Mets (74-88) «0012010004100
Miami (69-93)000001010270
W: J. Hefner (4-7) L: T. Koehler (0-1)
S: B. Parnell (7)
HR: NYM - A. Torres (3),S. Hairston (20),I. Davis (32)   MIA - None

Scott Hairston clubbed a two-run homer and Ike Davis added a solo shot to lead the New York Mets to a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins in the season finale for both teams.

Andres Torres also hit a solo homer for the Mets (74-88), who snapped a four- game skid.

Jeremy Hefner (4-7) allowed two runs on five hits and struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings in the win.

"There are obviously a lot of good things to take out of the first half and plenty of bad things from the second half. I think that we obviously have plenty of room for improvement," Mets third baseman David Wright said.

Bobby Parnell worked around a two-out single in the ninth to notch his seventh save of the year.

Gorkys Hernandez had an RBI and Bryan Petersen doubled and scored a run for the Marlins (69-93), who dropped 12 of their final 16 games of the season.

Tom Koehler (0-1) allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three over five innings to absorb the loss in his first career start.

"It wasn't a great year for all of us as a whole, we will take it for what it is worth and build for the next year," Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton said.

Torres crushed a solo homer deep to right-center field in the third to give the Mets an early lead.

Hairtson roped a two-run homer in the fourth and Davis added a solo shot in the sixth to put New York ahead 4-0.

Miami finally got on the board in the home sixth when Hernandez singled to left field to score Donnie Murphy.

A passed ball allowed Petersen to score in the eighth before a pair of walks to Stanton and Carlos Lee loaded the bases, but Manny Acosta retired Donovan Solano to end the frame.

Murphy reached on a two-out single in the ninth, but Parnell struck out Petersen to end the game.

Game Notes

The Mets recorded their fewest wins in a season (74) since 2009 when they managed just 70 victories ... Davis posted career highs in homers (32) and RBI (90) ... Reyes stole his 40th base. It is the fifth time Reyes has swiped 40 bags in a season, but the first time since 2008 when he stole 56 with the Mets.

Box Score:

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Today's Mets Starting Lineup vs Marlins - Game 162

Today's Mets Starting Lineup vs Marlins - Game 162:

  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Ike Davis, 1b
  5. Scott Hairston, rf
  6. Lucas Duda, lf
  7. Kelly Shoppach, c
  8. Andres Torres, cf
  9. Jeremy Hefner, rhp

Preview: Game 162 - Mets at Marlins - Final Game of the Year

New York Mets (73-88) at Miami Marlins (69-92) 4:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Hefner (R) 12 3-7 5.325.01-34.279/26PITW7.0301-18.09.00
T. Koehler (R) 0 0-0 5.400.00-07.113/17--ND0.0000-02.13.86

Bronx-born right-hander Tom Koehler makes the first start of his major-league career Wednesday when the Miami Marlins host the New York Mets in the finale of both a three-game series and the 2012 regular season at Marlins Park.

A 26-year-old product of New York's Stony Brook University, Koehler was a 16th-round pick of the Marlins in 2008 and reached the majors with them in September.

He appeared out of the bullpen in seven straight outings while allowing a combined five runs on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings, though five of the seven appearances were scoreless.

Koehler has faced the Mets twice in his initial stretch as a big-leaguer, tossing a scoreless one-hit inning in New York on Sept. 22, following by two- thirds of an inning on Oct. 1 in Miami, when he allowed a run on three hits.

Prior to his September callup, Koehler started 27 times in 28 appearances at Triple-A New Orleans and posted a 4.17 earned run average in 151 innings.

Veteran Chad Gaudin had been scheduled to start for the first time since 2009, but he pitched an inning of relief in Miami's win in game two of the series on Tuesday.

New York replies with rookie righty Jeremy Hefner, who can end his inaugural big-league season with two consecutive victories.

The 26-year-old had dropped three straight decisions across nine appearances before ending the skid with a 6-0 defeat of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 26.

Recap: Game 161 - Mets at Marlins - Marlins Scratch One Out in the 11th, Mets Lose 4-3

Marlins Park (Miami, FL)
N.Y. Mets (73-88)00000003000390
Miami (69-92) «000111000014100

W: C. Gaudin (4-2) L: C. McHugh (0-4)
HR: NYM - None   MIA - G. Hernandez (3),R. Brantly (3)

Donovan Solano drove home the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the 11th, as the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets, 4-3, on Tuesday.

Jose Reyes tripled to leadoff the inning and Colin McHugh (0-4) intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee before Solano stroked a base hit up the middle.

"We had the right man in the right spot," Guillen said of Solano. "We knew he was going to put the ball in play, he came through for us one more time."

Chad Gaudin (4-2) pitched a perfect top of the 11th to pick up the victory for the Marlins, who will go for the series sweep in Wednesday's season finale.

Adam Greenberg, who got his first major league at-bat since July 9, 2005, struck out on three pitches. The Marlins signed the 31-year-old to a one-day contract earlier on Tuesday.

"The energy in the stadium was something I never experienced in my life, and I don't know if I will ever experience again," Greenberg said.

Former Marlins pitcher Valerio De Los Santos hit Greenberg in the head during his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs over seven years ago. The incident derailed his career, as he suffered from vertigo and vision problems for some time thereafter.

Scott Hairston and David Wright drove in a run apiece for the Mets, who have lost four in a row on the heels of a three-game winning streak.

Miami starter Jacob Turner tossed a solid 7 2/3 innings. Charged with a run on three hits and two walks, Turner left the game with a lead but the Mets tied it after he exited.

Jordany Valdespin reached on a one-out double in the eighth, moved to third on a single from Daniel Murphy and scored on a base hit by Wright. A wild pitch from Heath Bell allowed Murphy to come home and Hairston reached on an infield single to tie the game at 3-3.

R.A. Dickey was unable to pick up his 21st victory of the season to help improve his Cy Young candidacy. He lasted six innings and gave up three runs -- two homers -- on seven hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out eight in his final start of the season.

Following the game Dickey revealed he will undergo surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle on Oct. 18 in Philadelphia.

"I have a tear in my abdomen that is going to have to be surgically repaired. I did that fairly early in the season and (the Mets' training staff) have played a big part in keeping me as symptom-free as possible," Dickey said.

The Cy Young candidate said he has been dealing with the injury since April, but it was not significant enough to keep him out of action.

Gorkys Hernandez and Rob Brantly homered in consecutive innings in the fourth and the fifth for the Marlins before Greenberg got his at-bat to leadoff the sixth. Dickey made quick work of the rookie, striking him out on three knuckleballs, but the crowd and both dugouts applauded Greenberg for what has been an incredible journey.

With one away in the sixth, Reyes singled, moved to second on a base hit from Stanton and came around to score on Lee's line drive into right to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead.

Game Notes

The Mets fell to 20-22 in one run games ... The Marlins captured the series win against the Mets after being swept in the previous two ... The Mets were 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 while the Marlins were 2-for-8 and left eight on base.

Box Score:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup vs Marlins - Game 161

Tonight's Mets Starting Lineup vs Marlins - Game 161:

  1. Tejada-6
  2. Murphy-4
  3. Wright-5
  4. Davis-3
  5. Hairston-9
  6. Duda-7
  7. Thole-2
  8. Torres-8
  9. Dickey-1 
R.A. Dickey Goes for his 21st win of the season!

Preview: Game 161 - Mets at Marlins - Dickey-Time!, Goes for 21st Win

New York Mets (73-87)  at Miami Marlins (68-92) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
R. Dickey (R) 32 20-6 2.696.010-32.819/27PITW7.2832-122.22.78
J. Turner (R) 6 1-4 3.865.01-13.759/27@ATLL6.0621-218.02.50

R.A. Dickey has a chance to become the first New York Met to surpass 20 wins in 27 years, and his performances against the Miami Marlins have helped put him in that position.

The knuckleballer will also try to bolster his NL Cy Young Award hopes by continuing his mastery of the Marlins, who are expected to give Adam Greenberg a long-awaited major league at-bat Tuesday night.

Until this year, the 37-year-old Dickey had never won more than 11 games and was 41-50 over nine seasons. He even began 2010 with New York's minor league affiliate in Buffalo.

If he wins Tuesday, Dickey (20-6, 2.69 ERA) will become the first Met with 21 or more victories in a season since Dwight Gooden went 24-4 in 1985 en route to claiming the franchise's last Cy Young.

Tom Seaver won at least 21 games for New York in 1969, 1972 and 1975, and Jerry Koosman hit that mark in 1976.

"My sole concern again is just to try to put up a good outing," Dickey told the team's official website. "And at the end, you hope that your statistics speak loudly enough that you're in the (Cy Young) race."

Dickey is also seeking to become the first knuckleballer with at least 21 wins since Atlanta's Phil Niekro and Houston's Joe Niekro both did so in 1979, and the first pitcher for a sub-.500 team since Roger Clemens went 21-7 for Toronto in 1997.

A start against the Marlins (68-92) would appear to give Dickey a prime opportunity to accomplish all those goals. He's 8-0 with a 0.92 ERA over his last eight matchups and has five wins versus Miami this season.

Recap: Game 160 - Mets at Marlins - Marlins Sneak By Mets 3-2

Marlins Park (Miami, FL)
N.Y. Mets (73-87)0000110002110
Miami (68-92) «00000111x381

W: H. Bell (4-5) L: R. Ramirez (3-4)
S: S. Cishek (15)
HR: NYM - None   MIA - G. Stanton (37)

Rob Brantly's RBI double in the eighth inning lifted the Miami Marlins to a 3-2 win over the New York Mets on Monday.

Carlos Lee opened the frame with a walk then moved to second on a wild pitch. Brantly followed with a line drive double to left field to knock in Lee.

"I got a pitch up in the zone away and got a good piece of the bat on it," Brantly said of the winning hit.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer and Jose Reyes knocked in a run for the Marlins, who won for just the second time in 11 games.

Heath Bell (4-5) earned the win with a scoreless eight and Steve Cishek tossed a perfect ninth for his 15th save of the season.

Mike Baxter and David Wright drove in one run apiece for the Mets, who have dropped three straight.

Ramon Ramirez (3-4) was pegged with the loss after giving up Brantly's double. Jeurys Familia made his first career start and gave up one hit over four scoreless innings, but walked six batters.

"Too many walks," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Familia's outing. "There's work ahead...but it's fun to work with when you have arms like that."

The Mets took an early 1-0 lead when Wright ripped a single to center field to score Ronny Cedeno in the fifth inning.

Baxter's pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth gave New York a 2-0 lead, but the Marlins scored a run in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game.

Stanton roped a solo homer to left-center field in the sixth before Reyes' sacrifice fly in the seventh tied the game at 2-2.

Game Notes

Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano had a 10-game hitting streak snapped ... Gorkys Hernandez went 3-for-3 for Miami ... The Mets had won seven straight against the Marlins entering the game ... New York starter R.A. Dickey will make his final start of the season Tuesday and looks to tie Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez for the MLB lead in wins with 21.

Box Score:

Monday, October 01, 2012

Preview: Game 160 - Mets at Marlins - Familia vs Johnson

New York Mets (73-86) at Miami Marlins (67-92) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Familia (R) 0 0-0 8.640.00-00.00---ND0.0000-03.116.20
J. Johnson (R) 31 8-14 3.816.06-62.969/26@ATLL6.0420-319.03.79

Dominican righty Jeurys Familia makes the first start of his brief major-league career Monday when the New York Mets open a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.

Familia, who'll turn 23 next week, made seven appearances with the Mets after a promotion to the big leagues in September, coming in out of the bullpen each time.

He held opponents scoreless in four of the seven outings and allowed a single run in one other game and two in another, combining to allow three runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings - outside of one difficult meeting with the Philadelphia Phillies.

In that game, on Sept. 20, Familia was tagged for five runs in just two-thirds of an inning of a 16-1 loss.

Familia began the season with 28 starts at Triple-A Buffalo and was 9-9 with a 4.73 earned run average in 137 innings.

He has never faced the Marlins.

Recap: Game 159 - Mets at Braves - Braves beat up Mets 6-2

Turner Field (Atlanta, Ga.)
N.Y. Mets (73-86)001000001251
Atlanta (93-66) «03001200x681

W: K. Medlen (10-1) L: J. Mejia (1-2)
S: C. Kimbrel (42)
HR: NYM - None   ATL - D. Ross (9)

After being showered with cheers all weekend, Chipper Jones got one more standing ovation from a sold-out crowd at Turner Field on Sunday.

At the conclusion of an Atlanta Braves 6-2 victory over the New York Mets, Jones walked off the field to a booming applause for the final time in the regular season. The retiring slugger finished 1-for-2, recording his first hit of the series in the third.

David Ross provided all the necessary offense with a three-run homer for the Braves, who stayed alive for the NL East crown after the Washington Nationals lost to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. Atlanta trails Washington by three games with three left to play.

Kris Medlen (10-1) once again dazzled for Atlanta. He tossed six strong innings of three-hit ball, allowed one unearned run and struck out four to notch his ninth win in his last 12 starts. The Braves have won in his last 23 starts overall, breaking the record set 49 years ago by New York Yankees' Whitey Ford.

"I think the best part about it is that my name is in the history books, but it's a team thing, they are team wins," said Medlen. "Guys go out and battle for me because they know I'm going to go out and throw strikes and try and execute my pitches. It's been a fun ride and I don't think we're done."

After Andres Torres drove in a run in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel came in to lock down his 42nd save of the season.

Coming off his first career win, New York starter Jennry Mejia (1-2) was unable to duplicate his last outing. He lasted five innings and surrendered four runs on six hits with two walks. He struck out three in the loss.

Ross' homer in the second plated the first runs of the game. Following a leadoff walk to Jones and a Freddie Freeman double, Ross ripped a Mejia fastball into the left field seats to give Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

Ruben Tejada scored a run in the following frame for the Mets on a throwing error by Freeman, but the Braves got the run back in the fifth when Jason Heyward stroked an RBI double.

Jones delivered his 2,725th career hit with single up the middle in the bottom half of the third. The milestone gave Jones the fifth-most career hits for a switch-hitter and placed him 57th on the all-time hits list, surpassing Robbie Alomar.

"I grew up watching that guy so you know it is definitely an honor to see somebody put together that kind of career," said Mets' Daniel Murphy. "I thought the fans did an unbelievable job, very receptive. Obviously Chipper has given a lot to them and vice versa."

Jones also flashed the leather in his final home game. He made two diving stops in the first inning, the first to retire Tejada and the second to save a run. With runners on first and second, Scott Hairston grounded a ball to the left side. Jones dove and from his knees threw to second to get the force out to end the inning.

Then, in the third, he made a bare-handed scoop on a soft grounder from Mejia and threw out the hustling pitcher by a step.

Atlanta tacked on two more runs in the sixth with an RBI triple from Andrelton Simmons and a run-scoring single by Michael Bourn.

Game Notes

The Braves are now 27 games over .500 for the first time since the 2004 season ... Atlanta improved to 19-8 in September and will finish its season with a three-game set in Pittsburgh ... The Mets completed their fourth consecutive losing month after posting winning records through the first three and will wrap up the season with three in Miami.

Box Score:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Preview: Game 159 - Mets at Braves - Mejia vs Medlen

New York Mets (73-85) at Atlanta Braves (92-66) 1:35 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Mejia (R) 2 1-1 4.913.20-115.009/24PITW5.0401-19.05.00
K. Medlen (R) 11 9-1 1.646.03-11.919/25MIAND7.0531-022.01.64

Having already locked up a spot in the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves can set a major league record Sunday if they can beat the New York Mets.

The Braves have won 22 straight games started by Kris Medlen, who will take the mound today. Medlen's only loss this season came in relief. The right- hander, in his first full season following Tommy John surgery, threw seven innings in a no-decision against the Marlins on Tuesday.

The Braves have won Medlen's last 22 starts dating to 2010, increasing his franchise record. The major league record is 23 consecutive starts by the Yankees' Whitey Ford and the Giants' Carl Hubbell.

Medlen is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 14 games (4 starts) all-time against the Mets.

It's also expected to be an emotional day for third baseman Chipper Jones, who will play his final regular season home game. Jones, who will retire following the playoffs, will head to Pittsburgh along with the rest of the Braves to finish the regular season.

The Braves trail the NL East-leading Washington Nationals by four games with four left to play.

Last night, Jason Heyward and Martin Prado each drove in a run and the Braves pitching staff blanked the Mets, 2-0.

Mike Minor (11-10) was nearly untouchable. He gave up just three hits over 6 1/3 innings while striking out four. Minor won for the fourth time this month and has given up just three runs over his last five starts. He's won five straight decisions.

Recap: Game 158 - Mets at Braves - Mets Get Blanked 2-0

Turner Field (Atlanta, Ga.)
N.Y. Mets (73-85)000000000050
Atlanta (92-66) «10001000x281
W: M. Minor (11-10) L: C. Young (4-9)
S: C. Kimbrel (41)
HR: NYM - None   ATL - None

Jason Heyward and Martin Prado each drove in a run and the Braves pitching staff blanked the New York Mets, 2-0, to win the second edition of a three-game set.

Mike Minor (11-10) was nearly untouchable for the playoff-bound Braves, who trail the NL East-leading Washington Nationals by four games with four left to play.

He gave up just three hits over 6 1/3 innings while striking out four. Minor won for the fourth time this month and has given up just three runs over his last five starts. He's won five straight decisions.

"His velocity has been up and has been pounding the zone," said Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. "He's throwing all three pitches for strikes and hitting the corners. He's not just working in the middle of the plate, he's getting ahead of hitters. He's really turned the corner."

After putting two runners on in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel struck out pinch- hitter Ike Davis and Lucas Duda to earn his 41st save of the season.

Chris Young (4-9) was once again charged with the loss despite tossing his fourth straight quality start. He pitched six strong innings, but gave up two runs on seven hits. He struck out six.

"Ultimately, it's about team wins and losses," said Young. "All in all, there were some really good things. It was a great year to bounce back, it's the most I've pitched since 2008. There were a lot of positives."

Chipper Jones, who is playing his final regular season games at Turner Field, once again went 0-for-4.

Prado finished 2-for-4 and scored a run in the first and drove in the Braves' second run in the fifth.

In the first, Prado ripped a one-out double to right, advanced to third on a wild pitch by Young and scurried home on Heyward's groundout to short. After Andrelton Simmons singled to leadoff the fifth, Minor sacrificed him over and Prado drove another double, this one to left field, to score Simmons from second.

The Mets managed just five hits all game, but had their best chance to score in the ninth inning.

Ruben Tejada reached on a fielding error by Uggla to leadoff the ninth. After Kimbrel got pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy to fly out, he hit David Wright with a pitch, bringing Davis to the plate. However, Kimbrel was able to fan Davis and Duda struck out looking to end the game.

Game Notes

Tejada had his 10-game hitting streak snapped ... The Mets lost for just the second time in their last nine games ... Prado becomes the 10th player in franchise history to accomplish 60 multi-hit games in a season.

Box Score:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Preview: Game 158 - Mets at Braves - Young vs Minor

New York Mets (73-84) at Atlanta Braves (91-66) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
C. Young (R) 19 4-8 4.215.14-44.459/23MIAND6.0510-118.22.89
M. Minor (L) 29 10-10 4.275.26-43.479/22@PHIW6.0222-017.21.53

Coming down the stretch this season, Mike Minor has been one of the best pitchers in the Atlanta Braves rotation.

Minor aims to win his fifth consecutive decision tonight when the playoff- bound Braves continue their three-game set against the New York Mets.

The left-hander, who is unbeaten in his last six starts and hasn't lost since Aug. 19 to the Dodgers, has given up three runs over his last four starts. Minor is 2-1 with a 7.56 ERA in five games against the Mets.

Chris Young, who has just one victory over his last eight starts, counters for the Mets. The righty is 2-3 with a 7.36 ERA in seven contests versus the Braves.

Atlanta heads into Saturday trailing the Washington Nationals by four games with five left to play for the NL East lead. The Nats have a magic number of two to clinch the division, meaning they can do so on Saturday with a win coupled by a Braves loss.

Happy Recap: Game 157 - Mets at Braves - Duda, Niese Pair for Mets Win 3-1

Turner Field (Atlanta, Ga.)
N.Y. Mets (73-84) «000000300360
Atlanta (91-66)000100000140

W: J. Niese (13-9) L: T. Hudson (16-7)
S: B. Parnell (6)
HR: NYM - L. Duda (15)   ATL - F. Freeman (23)

Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and Jon Niese pitched seven strong innings, as the New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, spoiling the first of Chipper Jones' final three regular-season home games.

Jones, who is retiring at the end of the season, was honored with a pre-game ceremony in front of the seventh largest crowd in the history of Turner Field, but the 18-year veteran finished 0-for-4 on the night.

"I'm glad it's over, it's been a lot of attention," said Jones. "I was an emotional wreck all night. It was tough to stay focused with the tributes in between innings from ex-teammates and teammates and everything like that. It was too overwhelming, I was a little too emotional to be able to go out there and play effectively tonight."

Niese (13-9) was dominant for New York, which has won seven of its last eight games. He made just one mistake, giving up a homer to Freddie Freeman in fourth. He struck out three and didn't allow a hit over his final three innings.

Duda provided the Mets' only offense with his blast in the seventh off Tim Hudson (16-7), who allowed five hits while striking out four over seven frames.

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.

Daniel Murphy doubled to lead off the seventh and advanced to third on David Wright's fly out. Hudson then intentionally walked Ike Davis before Duda smacked a two-out, three-run shot over the right-field fence on the ninth pitch of his at-bat.

"It's just one of those games with the crowd like that, you could get a lot of energy. It's not very hard to find the energy in a game like tonight," said Niese. "A lot of guys made some great plays behind me. Lucas had a great hit, just fortunate to get the win."

Jones denied the Mets from pouring it on in the eighth when he turned a double play with the bases loaded. With one-out, Wright hit a chopper to Jones, who stepped on the bag at third and threw out Wright at first to end the inning.

The Braves, who lost for just the third time in their last 13 games, put just one runner in scoring position on Jones' honorary night.

Game Notes

The Braves, who have already clinched a playoff berth, trail the Washington Nationals by four games with five left to play for the NL East lead ... New York's Ruben Tejada extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Parnell has given up just one earned run over his last 12 innings. ... Atlanta lost to New York for just second time in 10 tries since the All-Star break.

Box Score:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Preview: Game 157 - Mets at Braves - Niese vs Hudson

New York Mets (72-84) at Atlanta Braves (91-65) 7:35 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Niese (L) 29 12-9 3.495.26-43.199/21MIAW6.1732-118.12.95
T. Hudson (R) 27 16-6 3.616.18-43.939/23@PHIW7.1202-119.03.79

With a playoff berth already in the fold, the Atlanta Braves still have their sights set on winning the National League East.

A favorable schedule could get the Braves where they want to be.

Atlanta will open a three-game series versus the New York Mets tonight at Turner Field and sits four games behind the Washington Nationals for the division lead with six to play.

The Braves have won five in a row and 10 of 12, and completed a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with Thursday's 6-2 victory behind starter Tommy Hanson and a strong bullpen. Hanson allowed two runs -- one earned -- and six hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win, while Luis Avilan, Jonny Venters and Cristhian Martinez held the Marlins scoreless the rest of the way.

Dan Uggla went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, and Andrelton Simmons recorded two hits, an RBI and a run scored.

"It definitely feels good to get a couple of runs and drive in a few and get some knocks," said Uggla. "Like I said about three weeks, a month ago, I'm back, I'm not searching for (my swing). It's me and I'm going to keep doing what I can do from here on out."

Braves center Michael Bourn is anticipating a return soon and an MRI on his left thumb revealed a slight sprain. Bourn hasn't played since last Saturday and is batting .274 with nine homers and 56 RBI.

"Once the swelling has gone out of it, it has felt better," Bourn said. "They just did not want me to rush back out there and have any setbacks."

In what could be his final start before the playoffs, Tim Hudson takes the mound for the Braves tonight and has been riding a hot streak since July. In his last 15 starts, Hudson is 10-2 with a 3.39 earned run average and posted his second win in a row in Sunday's 2-1 decision at Philadelphia.

Happy Recap: Game 156 - Pirates at Mets - Dickey Wins his 20th, Mets Win 6-5

Citi Field (Flushing, NY)
Pittsburgh (76-80)020100002590
N.Y. Mets (72-84) «01014000x680
W: R. Dickey (20-6) L: K. Correia (11-11)
S: B. Parnell (5)
HR: PIT - R. Barajas (11),A. Presley (10)   NYM - I. Davis (31),D. Wright (21)

David Wright hit a three-run homer and R.A. Dickey tied a career-high with 13 strikeouts, as the New York Mets closed out their season at home, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5.

Wright's blast in the fifth gave the Mets the lead and allowed Dickey (20-6), who gave up three runs in 7 2/3 innings of work, to become the Mets first pitcher since Frank Viola in 1990 to win 20 games.

"To win 20 games is difficult. It's been a real grind," Dickey said. "It's a big exhale."

Ike Davis hit a solo homer and Daniel Murphy and Scott Hairston each contributed an RBI, as New York collected its sixth victory in its last seven games.

Kevin Correia (11-11) exited the game after Wright's homer, tagged for six runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"Normally I can pick a positive out of a start, but today there basically wasn't any," Correia said.

Alex Presley made it one-run game with a two-run blast off Jon Rauch in the ninth, but Bobby Parnell retired the final two batters to earn his fifth save of the season.

The Mets trailed early after Dickey gave up back-to-back run scoring hits in the second. With runners on the corners, Rod Barajas hit a ground-rule double to score Garrett Jones and then Jordy Mercer plated another with a slow- rolling ground ball to third to make it 2-0.

New York got a run back on Davis's leadoff homer in bottom half but were denied from tying the game two batters later when Mike Baxter was robbed of a home run by Pirates right fielder Travis Snider.

Barajas added a solo homer in the fourth but Hairston knocked in a run in the home half to keep the deficit at one. An inning later, the Mets took the lead for good.

Andres Torres drew a leadoff walk, and two batters later Ruben Tejada singled to right, before Daniel Murphy smoked a single up the middle to bring Torres home from second. Wright then strolled to the plate and cleared the bases with his 21st home run to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Pittsburgh came up just short in its final turn at the plate. Mercer reached on a leadoff walk before Presley delivered a blast to right to make it 6-5. But Parnell got Josh Harrison to ground out and Jose Tabata to fly out to end the game.

Game Notes

Houston's Joe Niekro was the last knuckleballer to reach 20 wins, doing so in 1980 ... Dickey's 222 strikeouts are the most in a single season for the Mets since David Cone struck out 214 in 1992 ... Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen left the game in the seventh with discomfort in his left knee ... Pittsburgh has lost eight of its last 10 games and, at 76-80, is in danger of posting its 20th straight non-winning season.

Box Score:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today's Mets Starting Lineup vs Pirates - Game 156

Today's Mets Starting Lineup vs Pirates - Game 156

  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Ike Davis, 1b
  5. Scott Hairston, lf
  6. Mike Baxter, rf
  7. Josh Thole, c
  8. Andres Torres, cf
  9. R.A. Dickey, rhp

Preview: Game 156 - Pirates at Mets - Dickey Goes for 20th Win

Pittsburgh Pirates (76-79) at New York Mets (71-84) 1:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
K. Correia (R) 26 11-10 4.115.15-74.349/22@HOUL6.0731-219.02.84
R. Dickey (R) 31 19-6 2.666.09-32.539/22MIAW8.0621-222.02.86

The New York Mets haven't had a 20-game winner in 22 years, and it's been even longer since they've had a Cy Young Award winner.

R.A. Dickey is making a bid to end both lengthy droughts.

The right-handed knuckleballer looks to enter Mets' lore and get victory No. 20 in front of the home fans in Flushing on Thursday against the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dickey (19-6, 2.66 ERA) has been one of the few bright spots for New York (71-84) this year, and he's on the verge of becoming the team's first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.

"Obviously, there's something that looks pretty about that number," Dickey told the team's official website. "I'm not going to pretend that it's not nice. But my whole mentality is geared around, 'How can I be consistent?' So I'm going to go out there and try to put up a quality start, just like I always do, and hopefully it will equal a win."

Dickey is also a contender for the NL Cy Young Award, which hasn't been won by a Met since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Gooden is also the only Mets hurler to win the pitching Triple Crown, and Dickey has a chance to match that feat. He has the NL's lowest qualifying ERA, and ranks second to Washington's Gio Gonzalez in wins, while his 209 strikeouts are two behind Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw for the league lead.

Gonzalez is scheduled to start Thursday night at Philadelphia.

Reaching 20 wins would make Dickey the third Met to reach a significant milestone this year.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Recap: Game 155 - Pirates at Mets - Mets Shut Out Pirates 6-0

Citi Field (Flushing, NY)
Pittsburgh (76-79)000000000031
N.Y. Mets (71-84) «00410100x6140
W: J. Hefner (3-7) L: J. Locke (0-3)
HR: PIT - None   NYM - None

Ruben Tejada went 4-for-5 with two RBI and rookie Jeremy Hefner threw seven scoreless innings, as the New York Mets blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-0, in the third edition of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Hefner (3-7) allowed three hits and matched his career-best total for strikeouts in a game with seven -- along with posting four 1-2-3 innings.

For Hefner, it was a nice rebound from his last outing, when he allowed seven runs without recording an out in the first inning of an eventual 16-1 loss to the Phillies six days ago.

Andres Torres also had a nice night at the plate for New York, going 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Daniel Murphy, Scott Hairston and Kelly Shoppach each contributed an RBI for the Mets, who have won five of their last six.

Jeff Locke (0-3), making his ninth career start, took the loss for Pittsburgh, throwing just 3 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits. Locke struck out five and walked one in the defeat, which officially eliminated the Pirates from playoff contention.

After managing only a single and a walk in the first two innings, the Mets' lineup got to work against Locke in the bottom of the third.

Tejada singled and stole second, then scored the game's first run when Murphy knocked a single of his own back up the middle to center field.

Wright followed by dribbling an infield single towards third, which allowed Murphy to come around and score on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Wright then crossed home on a double by Scott Hairston, who later scored himself on a Shoppach single to make the score 4-0.

Tejada came through with an RBI single in the fourth, hitting a bullet back towards third that Alvarez could only manage to knock down with his glove.

Torres -- who had singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a Hefner sacrifice bunt and then stole third -- made it home on the play, putting the Mets up 5-0.

The only hint of a scoring threat to Hefner came in the top of the fifth, when Pittsburgh had runners on first and second with two outs. But the rookie struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Clement to end the inning and allowed only a single in his next two innings of work.

Tejada collected his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a one-out single to score Torres.

Reliever Jeurys Familia entered in the eighth for New York, pitching two scoreless innings.

Game Notes

Hefner made his 12th career start and faced the Pirates for the first time in his career ... Tejada extended his hitting streak to eight games after singling to right in his first at bat ... The game was Tejada's fourth four- hit outing of the season...With his third-inning single, Wright surpassed Ed Kranepool for most hits in Mets franchise history, ending the night with 1,420 in his nine-year career.

Box Score:

Preview: Game 155 - Pirates at Mets - Locke vs Hefner

Pittsburgh Pirates (76-78) at New York Mets (70-84) 7:10 PM ET
SeasonRd/HmLast StartLast 3 App
J. Locke (L) 4 0-2 5.474.10-17.719/21@HOUL5.0330-115.15.87
J. Hefner (R) 11 2-7 5.795.01-47.329/20PHIL0.0670-23.231.91

Young southpaw Jeff Locke can at least temporarily keep the Pittsburgh Pirates' fleeting postseason hopes alive Wednesday when they visit Citi Field for the third of four games against the host New York Mets.

The Pirates sit seventh in the race for the National League's two wild card berths, 7 1/2 games behind the No. 2 slot now held by the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis won on Tuesday in Houston to lower their magic number to one to eliminate the Pirates from contention, after a summer in which Pittsburgh contended early for the National League's Central Division before skidding in the second half.

Locke has appeared in six games and started four times in 2012 but is still seeking his first victory.

His most recent start came Sept. 21 at Houston, where he pitched five innings and allowed three runs on three hits in a 7-1 loss.

Locke, who has never faced the Mets, made 10 appearances and started eight times in the majors since debuting last season and has combined to pitch 41 1/3 innings while giving up 46 hits and 27 runs with a .280 opposition batting average.

Recap: Game 154 - Pirates at Mets - Pirates Beat Mets 10-6

Citi Field (Flushing, NY)
Pittsburgh (76-78) «4300100021092
N.Y. Mets (70-84)300000300671

W: W. Rodriguez (12-13) L: C. McHugh (0-3)
HR: PIT - P. Alvarez (30),G. Jones (25)   NYM - J. Turner (2),D. Wright (20)

Pedro Alvarez smacked a three-run homer and Garret Jones added a two-run blast to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 10-6 triumph over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Alvarez finished the game with four RBI and Jones knocked in three while Josh Harrison added two hits and a pair for RBI for the Pirates, who kept their slim playoff hopes alive. Pittsburgh trails the St. Louis Cardinals by 7 1/2 games for the final NL wild card spot.

"I wish that record-wise we would be doing a little better in the standings, but this is just one of those things that when the year is over I'll be able to reflect on," said Alvarez, who hit a career-high 30 homers this year. "But right now we are just trying to win some ball games."

A Cardinals' win or a Pirates' loss will eliminate Pittsburgh from wild card contention.

Wandy Rodriguez (12-13) surrendered three runs on four hits and struck out three over six innings to pick up his third win in five starts. Rodriguez hasn't lost since Aug. 24.

Justin Turner and David Wright hit back-to-back homers and Ruben Tejada had two hits and scored twice for the Mets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Collin McHugh (0-3) was charged with the loss after giving up seven runs on five hits in just 1 1/3 innings.

"I truly believe he has run out of gas," Mets manager Terry Collins said of McHugh. "You accumulate all the innings he has this year, pitching in September for the first time. His stuff is not as crisp as his first outing."

The Pirates raced to a 4-0 lead in the first. With the bases loaded, Gaby Sanchez lined into a force out to score Harrison before Alvarez smoked a three-run homer to left-center field, his 30th of the season.

Turner and Wright cranked back-to-back shots in the home half to make it 4-3. Tejada opened the frame with a single and Turner followed with his second homer of the year. Wright then smacked a solo shot over the center field wall.

Pittsburgh plated three more in the second to push its advantage to 7-3. With two on, Jose Tabata ripped a triple to right-center field before coming around on Turner's fielding error.

The Pirates added one more in the fifth when Alvarez drew a bases loaded walk.

New York's three-run seventh pulled the Mets within 8-6. Andres Torres doubled then scored when Jones bobbled Jose Valdespin's base hit. Following a Tejada walk and a Daniel Murphy groundout, Wright stroked a singled to right-center field to clear the bases.

Wright's base hit tied him with Ed Kranepool atop the Mets all-time hits list with 1,418.

"You would like to do these type of things in wins, but I am proud that I was able to tie it, and hopefully break it tomorrow," Wright said.

Jones' two-run blast in the ninth capped the scoring.

Game Notes

The Pirates are 69-0 when leading after eight innings ... Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has hit safely in seven straight games, and 10 of his last 11 ... The Mets have homered in seven straight games at Citi Field.

Box Score:
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