Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) heads home on his two run home run during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Saturday.
NEW YORK — Completing a suspended game 18 hours later is bizarre enough. So why not cap off the festivities with an insurance run scored via suicide squeeze?
B.J. Upton’s suicide squeeze brought home Jordan Schafer with the Atlanta Braves’ second 10th-inning run Saturday, and closer Craig Kimbrel survived a minor scare in the bottom of the inning as the Braves beat the New York Mets 7-5 in the completion of a game suspended by rain Friday night.
Game 2 of the series, which didn’t begin until 7:30 p.m., was not over by The Herald’s press tiime late Saturday night. The Braves, however, looked well onto their way to another win as they led, 8-0, in the eighth inning at press time.
As for the opener Friday, the two teams were tied 5-5 after eight innings before torrential rains forced the suspension after a delay of one hour and 15 minutes.
“Sometimes you wonder how long these games will last,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I’m glad we were able to finish it off.”
Dan Uggla, whose homer in the seventh inning Friday night tied the game, singled home Freddie Freeman to give the Braves the lead Saturday. Freeman had led off with a walk and moved to third on Brian McCann’s double.
One out later, the slumping Upton, who was hitless in the first four at-bats as his average dropped to .151, squeezed home Schafer, who pinch-ran for McCann at second and advanced to third on Uggla’s double.
Schafer just beat the shovel throw home from losing pitcher Brandon Lyon.
“That was a good, heads-up play by them on the bunt,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t called.”
Anthony Varvano, who allowed two runs in the eighth inning on Friday, threw a perfect ninth to earn the win Saturday.
Kimbrel recorded his 15th save, but not before hitting John Buck to lead off the inning and then allowing a single by Ike Davis, who had just one hit in his last 42 at-bats.
But Ruben Tejada popped out on a bunt attempt and pinch-hitter Justin Turner hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
“When you’re playing bad baseball, you’ve got to play perfect baseball to win,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “And so when we don’t execute some things, certainly it comes back to hurt us.”
The game -- which resumed at 6:10 p.m., 18 hours and 19 minutes after it was suspended -- was completed in front of a smattering of fans. Those who had tickets for the 7:15 p.m. game were allowed to attend both ends of the quasi-doubleheader while those who went to Friday’s game could swap their tickets for tickets to Saturday’s game(s).
On Friday, the Braves and Mets had each traded two-run rallies as heavy rain began falling. Atlanta threatened to pick up where it left off in the ninth inning Saturday, but with runners at the corners and one out, Mets closer Bobby Parnell induced Justin Upton to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
McCann finished 3-for-5 for the Braves while Freeman was 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
Daniel Murphy was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Mets. Buck hit a game-tying homer in the fourth while Lucas Duda and Marlon Byrd each had an RBI single.
NOTES: Friday’s suspended game was the first for the Mets and Braves since Major League Baseball revamped its suspended game rules prior to the 2007 season. Until 2007, official games that were suspended with the score tied were replayed from the beginning, but all stats from the games counted. Gonzalez was a manager in the first suspended game played under the new rules in 2007, when his Florida Marlins lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2. . . . Before Friday, the Mets’ last suspended game happened on Aug. 6, 1986, when the Mets-Cubs game at Wrigley Field was suspended due to darkness. The game resumed the next day and the Mets won 7-6. . . . The Braves’ previous suspended game took place during the second-ever game at Turner Field, on April 5, 1997. Once it was resumed, the Braves beat the Cubs 11-5. The Braves and Giants had a suspended game at Turner Field declared a tie on Aug. 15, 2002, when the game was called with the teams tied 3-3 in the 10th inning.
Braves crush Mets again Saturday
NEW YORK -- Mike Minor did it all for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
The left-hander had a season-high 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 shutout innings and hit a two-run homer to begin a five-run fifth in the Braves' 6-0 win over the New York Mets in front of a windswept announced crowd of 27,622 at Citi Field.
The win was the eighth in a row for the Braves (30-18), whose seventh win came earlier in the afternoon when they scored two 10th-inning runs to beat the Mets 7-5 in the completion of Friday night's suspended game.
The feeble Mets, meanwhile, fell to 17-29 with their fifth straight loss overall and their eighth straight at Citi Field. The Mets have scored four runs or less 17 times in their last 19 games.
The Mets got just one runner as far as second base against Minor, who continued his recent stellar pitching by allowing three hits and one walk. Minor is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts this month, a stretch in which his overall ERA has fallen to 2.47.
He's not nearly as renowned for his hitting. While the homer was Minor's second hit of the night, it was just his third hit in 18 career at-bats as well as his first RBI.
Freddie Freeman had two RBI singles for the Braves. Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton and Chris Johnson had two hits and a run scored apiece.
Mets starter Dillon Gee matched Minor until the fifth, when the Braves strung together six straight hits -- all after Gee had retired the first two batters of the inning.
Johnson began the rally with a single, after which Minor wrapped his first professional homer around the foul pole in left field.
Simmons followed with a double and scored on Jason Heyward's single to right. Justin Upton fouled off several two-strike pitches before doubling past a diving David Wright to bring home Heyward. Freeman's single on a 3-2 pitch scored Upton.
Gee managed to get out of the inning by retiring Evan Gattis on a popup, but his night was done as he failed to pitch beyond the fifth for the fifth straight time. Gee allowed eight hits and no walks while striking out four,
Ruben Tejada had three singles for the Mets and Lucas Duda singled in the second to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
NOTES: Braves right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy made his first rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday and allowed two runs, two hits and three walks in four innings. Beachy underwent Tommy John surgery last June 21. ... The slumping B.J. Upton, who had a squeeze-bunt RBI during the completion of Friday's game, sat for Saturday's scheduled game, which allowed the Braves to start Evan Gattis in left field. B.J. Upton is hitting just .151 in 152 at-bats. ... Another player in a terrible slump, the Mets' Ike Davis, also sat Saturday night. Davis had a single in the 10th inning earlier Saturday -- just his second hit in his last 43 at-bats -- but wasn't going to start against the left-handed Minor. ... The Mets need to win one of the final two games against the Braves to avoid going winless on a homestand (minimum six games) for the seventh time in team history.