R.A. Dickey has seen too much go wrong at Turner Field to believe he can waltz to an easy win.
”You don’t ever want to take anything for granted here, and that’s a tip of the hat to their lineup,” he said. ”Every out is important, no matter how you get it.”
Jason Heyward singled to cap a three-run rally and the Atlanta Braves took advantage after the umpires reversed a call, sending the New York Mets to an 8-7 loss Saturday.
The Braves’ comeback prevented a shaky Dickey from getting his 11th win in a row. Bobby Parnell (2-2) gave up RBI singles with two outs in the eighth to Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Heyward.
New York has lost three straight. The Braves have won six in a row.
Dickey’s ERA in two starts at Turner Field this year is 12.54. His only defeat this season came April 18 in Atlanta when the Mets lost 14-6.
”He gave up some runs, but I don’t know that we hit the ball particularly hard against him,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ”In the scorebook, they count as hits. But the first two hits he gave up were an infield single by Heyward, then (Brian McCann) blooped one in there. But we battled him and got him out of there and got into their bullpen.”
Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected while disputing a call in Atlanta’s two-run fifth.
With the score 3-all and Prado on first base with one out, Heyward hit a sinking liner that left fielder Jordany Valdespin charged. Third base umpire Dale Scott, the crew chief, initially ruled Valdespin made a diving catch and Prado, who had reached second, was trapped while retreating for an apparent inning-ending double play.
But after the umpires conferred, they ruled – correctly, as replays showed – that Heyward’s ball bounced. The umpires then placed Prado safely on second.
”It was the right call,” Collins said.
Scott said Valdespin’s body blocked his view of the attempted catch, so he initially called Heyward out.
”Immediately, I saw my partners Bill Miller and Dan Iassogna coming at me, as we’re instructed to do when we have something that’s completely different from what happened,” Scott said. ”We got together as a crew. We definitely had the ball bouncing. That’s no catch, and any time that we correct an error like that, we can put the runners wherever we think they should have gone. And that’s exactly what we did.”
Freddie Freeman’s two-out, two-run double gave the Braves a 5-3 lead.
Dickey was furious after returning to the Mets’ dugout, slamming his glove several times against the bench. His teammates bailed him out by scoring three runs in the sixth to give the Mets a 6-5 lead and put Dickey in line to earn the victory.
”They may have gotten it right, and if they did, great,” Dickey said of the reversed call. ”In the moment, it certainly looked like an out, which was a big play.”
Dickey struggled for his second straight start. The All-Star knuckleballer allowed eight hits and two walks in five innings.
Anthony Varvaro (1-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in the eighth.
In the ninth, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and pinch hitter Lucas Duda to convert his 19th straight save opportunity. Kimbrel has earned his 27 of 28 chances this season.
Parnell gave up three hits while getting only one out. He was the third Mets pitcher of the inning, with Tim Byrdak and Pedro Beato also each being charged with a run.
Parnell had held opponents scoreless in his previous nine appearances, but his struggles caused New York’s bullpen to drop to 11-18 this season, 15-37 when allowing a run.
”He didn’t make bad pitches,” Collins said. ”They just hit it. They hit it where nobody was standing.”
Ike Davis hit his 13th homer and Andres Torres’ RBI single tied it at 3 in the fourth. The Mets got RBI singles from pinch hitter Justin Turner, Ruben Tejada and Valdespin to take a 6-5 lead in the sixth. Tejada added an RBI single in the eighth to make it 7-5.
Braves starter Tommy Hanson gave up six runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings.
NOTES: Mets star David Wright went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts. He had reached base safely in 27 straight games, which was the longest active streak in the majors. … Dickey is 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA in two starts at Turner Field this season. … Hanson has allowed 17 homers this year. … Chipper Jones went 0 for 5, ending his 14-game hitting streak.