Punchless Braves fall to Mets 3-2 in series opener


Punchless Braves fall to Mets 3-2 in series opener

NEW YORK – Alex Wood only made one costly mistake Tuesday night against the Mets, but with the way the Braves are hitting that was at least one mistake too many.

Juan Lagares’ two-run homer in the fourth inning was the decisive blow for the Mets in a 3-2 series-opening win against the Braves, who’ve lost four out of their past six games and scored three runs or fewer in all but one game in that stretch.

Wood (9-10) gave up five hits, three runs and one walk in seven innings and fell to 0-2 in his past four road starts despite a 2.00 ERA in those games. The Braves have scored two or fewer runs while he’s been in the game in five of his past six starts, including all four of those road games.

The Braves’ last gasp came after Justin Upton led off the ninth with a single and Chris Johnson promptly grounded into a double play for the second time in the game and 20th this season, third-most in the National League.

Dillon Gee (5-6) had been winless with an ERA pushing 6 since the All-Star break, but against the Braves he did what he usually does. He gave up six hits, two runs and two walks in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 14 career starts against them.

In five starts against Atlanta over the past 14 months, Gee is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA. The right-hander allowed two or fewer runs in each of those games and lasted at least seven innings in four.

Gee was 0-5 with a 5.71 ERA in his past seven starts, and had allowed 17 walks in 36 innings over his past six starts. Against the Braves he issued just two walks, including Upton to lead off the second inning. Upton was erased when Johnson grounded into a double play.

Gee had given up four or more earned runs in five of his previous seven starts, and pitched more than six innings only twice in that span. Against the Braves, he recorded 11 outs in the first 11 batters and didn’t give up a hit until Freddie Freeman’s two-out double in the fourth inning.

Upton followed by lining a game-tying double to the left-center gap after Freeman advanced on a wild pitch.

With the Braves hoping to get a shutdown inning from Wood after tying the score, he instead gave up a leadoff double to Travis d’Arnaud to start the bottom of the fourth. Next up was Lagares, whose long home run to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Lagares was 1-for-8 with four strikeouts against Wood before Tuesday, when he singled and homered in his first two at-bats. D’Arnaud and Lagares hit consecutive singles to start the second inning, and the Mets took a 1-0 lead on Ruben Tejada’s one-out single.

Gee had allowed eight hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings of most recent start Tuesday at Oakland, and was pitching on two extra days of rest against the Braves. Whether it was the extra rest or the Braves’ ongoing offensive woes, he bounced back with just his second quality start since the3 All-Star break.

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