Braves reliever Ravin makes no excuses for 12th-inning mistake

Josh Ravin was activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier Friday and hadn’t pitched in a major league game since March 31, but the big reliever rejected that as an excuse for what happened in the final inning of a 5-3, 12-inning loss to the Mets on Friday at SunTrust Park.

Ravin hit Mets reliever Robert Gsellman with a pitch to start the inning, and Gsellman ended up scoring the winning run on Yoenis Cespedes’ two-out single. The Mets added an insurance run on Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI double off Ravin for a 5-3 win.

Actually, Ravin hit only the front of Gsellman’s billowy jersey. But to Ravin’s credit, he didn’t buy that as an excuse.

“Especially with it being the pitcher, that’s not something. ... That’s not ideal,” Ravin said.

The highlight of the night for the Braves was Ozzie Albies’ homer off a 99.6-mph Noah Syndergaard fastball in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Albies became the first middle infielder in the franchise’s modern history since at least 1900 to hit six homers before the end of April, topping the previous high of five by Kelly Johnson in 2007 and Dan Uggla in 2011.

Albies also has a majors-leading 16 extra-base hits, one shy of matching the Atlanta-era record for extra-base hits by the end of April, with nine games still to play in the month. But after Braves starter Sean Newcomb gave up two runs in the third, the Braves never led again and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, including a Preston Tucker strikeout with two on to end the 11th inning.

Ravin, 30, who spent parts of the past three seasons with the Dodgers, had been on the DL with a viral infection since making one hitless, scoreless appearance March 31 against the Phillies.

He walked the leadoff hitter Cabrera in the 11th – the first batter he faced -- and was in a tight spot when Todd Frazier followed by reaching on an error. But with two on and none out in a tie game, Ravin retired the next three Mets on a pop-up, weak fly and strikeout.

“Yeah, I battled there,” he said.

But he wasn’t as fortunate in the 12th after hitting Gsellman with a pitcher that grazed his jersey. One sacrifice bunt and a pop-up later, Cespedes singled through the right side of the infield to score Gsellman for a 4-3 lead. Cespedes had been 0-for-4 with a career-high-tying four strikeouts before the hit.

Cabrera followed with a double for the final two-run margin.

Ravin said it wasn’t a matter of shaking off any rust.

“Not rusty. I was feeling good,” he said. “I had a few good outings in Triple-A (rehab assignment), so. ... (That’s) baseball.”

As for hitting Gsellman, he said again, “That just can’t happen, especially with a pitcher being up there. Just throw strikes. ... I paid for it.”

Asked if it were tougher to lose like that than to lose after giving up a leadoff double, he said, “Hundred percent, yeah. No doubt.”