Mets 6, Braves 4

Mets manager Terry Collins wasn’t in position to see where the

foul ball hit Carlos Beltran. What he could see was another of his

stars falling to his knees in pain. As Collins raced onto the

field, he hoped the ball missed Beltran’s ankle. It did.

Beltran left in the second inning with a bruise to his lower

leg, one at-bat after driving in the first run in the Mets’ 6-4

victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night.

”Anytime you get hit in the muscle it’s going to be sore. It’s

going to be bruised, it’s going to swell a little bit, but

discomfort, we know it’s going to dissipate in a few days,”

Collins said. ”Whether it’s two or three, I don’t know.”

The Mets have a day off before starting a 10-game trip in

Milwaukee on Tuesday, and a decision on Beltran’s status will be

made then.

One New York player thriving with an injury is R.A. Dickey

(3-6). He pitched eight baffling innings to win in his second solid

start since partially tearing the plantar fascia in his right foot.

He allowed a solo shot to Brian McCann in the seventh and three

other hits.

”Physically, it’s just an issue we’re going to have to work

through for who knows how long,” Dickey said. ”But it’s

manageable.”

Jose Reyes hit an RBI double and scored twice and Beltran had a

run-scoring double off Tim Hudson (4-5). Justin Turner added an RBI

single and the banged-up Mets finished 5-5 on a homestand against

Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

”We had some tough times,” Collins said, ”but to come in here

and beat the Braves two out of three, leave here on a positive

note, win the series, you’ve got to look at it positively.”

McCann’s homer leading off the seventh snapped Atlanta’s

scoreless streak at 15 innings. The Braves were shut out 5-0 by

rookie Dillon Gee and two relievers Saturday night.

The Mets, with Ike Davis and David Wright already on the

disabled list, got another injury scare when Beltran fouled a ball

off the inside of his right shin in the second inning. Fans at Citi

Field gasped when they saw their most productive hitter this season

limp out of the batter’s box and fall to his knees.

After being attended to for several minutes, Beltran struck out

to end the inning and was replaced by Willie Harris, who went to

left field even though slumping slugger Jason Bay was on the

bench.

”Maybe the best thing for me was to strike out because it was

painful,” Beltran said.

Bay was given a night off for what Collins called a chance to

”take a deep breath.” Jason Pridie switched from left to

right.

When Beltran left, the Mets were already ahead 4-0.

Hudson came in 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts at Citi Field

but didn’t look sharp from the start.

Reyes led off the first with a single, giving him a 10-game

hitting streak. An out later, Beltran lined a double to center for

the quick lead. Reyes scored a run for the ninth straight game,

equaling the longest streak of his career.

Daniel Murphy singled and Angel Pagan followed with a sacrifice

fly.

In the second, Turner had an RBI single and Reyes walked and

scored on a wild pitch, sliding home just ahead of Hudson’s

tag.

Hudson missed a start May 25 with back stiffness and gave up two

runs – one earned – in his previous outing. But he gave up five

runs and seven hits in four innings against the Mets.

”Physically I felt really good,” Hudson said. ”I made some

mistakes.”

Dickey’s knuckleball was floating and darting and fooling the

Braves. He allowed just three hits through five innings and no

runner got past second until McCann homered.

His knuckleball ”was dancing all over the place,” McCann said.

”We didn’t really string anything together.”

Manny Acosta put two on in the ninth, and closer Francisco

Rodriguez came on. He gave up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter

Diory Hernandez to cut the lead to 6-4. But Rodriguez struck out

Eric Hinske and Joe Mather to end it with Chipper Jones on deck.

Jones was given a scheduled night off.

In the fourth inning fans chanted ”Don’t trade Reyes!” before

the All-Star shortstop, who can become a free agent after the

season, hit an RBI double to left-center to make it 5-0.

Ruben Tejada had a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

NOTES: Braves right-hander Kris Medlen (elbow surgery) cut short

a bullpen session Tuesday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said there was no

reason to be concerned. … The Mets had 10 hits, only two for

extra bases. … The first soccer game at Citi Field will take

place Tuesday, with Greece playing Ecuador. … Reyes is batting

.465 during his hitting streak.