August 12, 2012: Mets Survive Braves Rally

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Date: August 12, 2012
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 6
Braves: 5
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Jonathon Niese, David Wright, Jordany Valdespin, Ike Davis
Key play: Wright’s RBI double, Davis’s two singles, Valdespin’s home run

The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday night at Citi Field. The teams concluded a three-game series with a nationally televised game. The Mets held off an Atlanta comeback attempt in the ninth inning and came away with a 6-5 win.

Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Mike Baxter singled against the Braves’ Ben Sheets. David Wright hit a double to drive home Baxter and advanced to third base on an error by right fielder Jason Heyward. Ike Davis singled to score Wright for a 2-0 Mets lead. Sheets then retired Daniel Murphy on a line drive to left fielder Martin Prado and struck out Jordany Valdespin to end the inning.

Freddie Freeman homered to lead off the top of the second. Niese set down the next two Atlanta batters and yielded a single to Paul Janish. Jonathon fanned Sheets for the inning’s final out and Rob Johnson got a one-out single in the bottom half. Johnson moved to second base on Niese’s sacrifice bunt and scored the Mets’ third run on a single by Ruben Tejada. Sheets then struck out Baxter to finish off the inning.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, Niese retired the Braves in order in the top of the fifth. Wright doubled with two outs in the bottom half. Davis singled to drive home Wright and increase the Mets lead to 4-1. Murphy grounded out to second baseman Dan Uggla to end the inning and Niese hurled a 1-2-3 top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom half, Valdespin homered for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Sheets then set down the next three hitters to close out the inning.

Niese and Braves’ reliever Jonny Venters each pitched a scoreless seventh. Jonathon shut down Atlanta again in the top of the eighth and Valdespin singled against reliever Cristhian Martinez with one out in the bottom of the inning. Valdespin stole second base and scored on a single by Andres Torres for a 6-1 Mets lead. Johnson was retired on a fly ball to Prado. Martinez then got pinch-hitter Justin Turner on a force play ground ball to shortstop Janish that ended the inning.

Chipper Jones drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Josh Edgin to begin the top of the ninth. Freeman was hit by a pitch and Uggla went down on strikes. Brian McCann flied out to right fielder Baxter and a walk to Janish loaded the bases. Frank Francisco came in to pitch for New York and issued walks to pinch-hitter Juan Francisco and Michael Bourn to force home Jones and Freeman, respectively. Prado followed with a double that plated Janish and Francisco, cutting the Mets’ lead to one run. Jon Rauch then took over on the mound and struck out Heyward to end the game. The Mets had survived a Braves rally effort and held on for a victory.