Sunday, August 5, 2018
NEW YORK — Sure, Julio Teheran had perfected his home run celebration. Plenty of times, clowning with Atlanta pitchers during batting practice.
He just never got to trot it out.
Long a Mets nemesis on the mound, Teheran found a new way to torment them. He stepped up in the fifth as a career .153 hitter, clubbed a high fastball over the left-field wall, and took a leisurely jog.
“You don’t know when you’re going to hit one,” he said, adding: “It’s a homer, you enjoy it.”
Now in his eighth season in the majors, the two-time All-Star said his last home run came in high school. Not much at the plate since then.
“I didn’t feel like running the bases,” he kidded.
He got the ball, too, a nice souvenir on an afternoon when a lot of Atlanta players contributed.
Markakis finished with four hits and took over the NL lead from teammate Freddie Freeman. Ender Inciarte also homered and Ronald Acuna Jr. delivered a key single as the Braves posted their sixth victory in seven games.
The NL East contenders took three of four at Citi Field for their first winning road series in more than a month.
Teheran continued to have control trouble and walked four in 5 2/3 innings. His solo home run off rookie Corey Oswalt came with Atlanta trailing 3-0.
“He kept us in the game. He got us back in the game,” manager Brian Snitker said.
Devin Mesoraco hit a tying home run in the Mets ninth — he was standing at second base when a replay review showed the ball cleared the wall, making it 4-all.
“I couldn’t quite tell the first view. But then the second one, I knew it was,” Mesoraco said.
A.J. Minter (4-2), who had been 8 for 8 in save chances this year, got the win despite giving up Mesoraco’s solo drive with one out.
Braves rookie Jesse Biddle worked around Wilmer Flores‘ leadoff double in the 10th for his first big league save. Jose Bautista, in an 0-for-23 slump, and Todd Frazier grounded out with Flores on third to end it.
New York rookie Tyler Bashlor (0-1) was tagged for Markakis’ 13th homer with one out. The Mets have lost five of six, and fell to 4-12 against Atlanta this season.
Acuna hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth that put Atlanta ahead 4-3.
The Braves pulled off an unusual double play to stay close in the sixth.
The Mets led 3-1 when Flores opened with a single and went to third on Michael Conforto‘s single. Bautista hit a hard grounder to third baseman Johan Camargo, who got a quick forceout. Second baseman Ozzie Albies alertly saw Flores breaking for the plate and threw him out.
Recently acquired Austin Jackson hit his second homer in eight games for the Mets.
Bautista went 0 for 5, striking out three times, hitting into that odd double play and stranding the tying run at third in the 10th. He’s batting .198 overall this year. He played 12 games for Atlanta in May and helped Teheran earn a win with a three-run homer at Wrigley Field.
“He’s been chasing a little bit more, the balls in the dirt. The good breaking balls, he seems to not recognize it as well, at this moment,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “And the walks just aren’t coming for him. So just a few things, he’s kind of off-kilter.”
Mets: Right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak was put on the disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder. The move was retroactive to Saturday, and RHP Jacob Rhame was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. The 32-year-old Swarzak is 0-2 with three saves and a 6.00 ERA in 22 games during his first season with the Mets. He missed about two months earlier this year with a strained oblique.
Braves: After a day off, Atlanta plays a day-night doubleheader at Washington. LHP Max Fried (1-4, 3.38 ERA) starts the day game and LHP Sean Newcomb (10-5, 3.23) goes at night. Newcomb’s previous outing was last Sunday — he came within one strike of a no-hitter against the Dodgers and was pulled after 134 pitches. Following the game, the 25-year-old apologized for racist, homophobic and sexist tweets he sent as a teenager.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.98) starts vs. RHP Homer Bailey (1-8, 5.87) and the Reds. Former Mets ace Matt Harvey, traded to Cincinnati in May, returns to Citi Field. He’s not scheduled to pitch in the three-game series.