Adonis Garcia's 8th-inning blast pushes Atlanta Braves past New York Mets

By Stan Awtrey, The Sports Xchange
Atlanta Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia (24). Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI
Atlanta Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia (24). Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves are glad to have the power of Adonis Garcia back in the starting lineup.

The third baseman celebrated his return with a game-winning, two-run homer in Atlanta's 4-3, come-from-behind victory over the New York Mets on Thursday at Turner Field.


"I'm very happy to be back, I'm happy to be able to be able to contribute, and I'm happy we were able to come back and win," Garcia said.

Atlanta won for the seventh time in eight games and broke New York's seven-game winning streak at Turner Field.

Garcia started for the first time since June 16, when he injured his left ankle against the Cincinnati Reds. After going hitless in his first three at-bats Thursday, he slammed a two-run homer, his fourth, against reliever Addison Reed (1-2) in the eighth inning to put the Braves ahead for the first time.


"He's a threat," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It took a couple of at-bats to get him going. It was such a huge hit."

All four of Garcia's home runs -- and nine of his 14 career homers -- have tied the game or given the Braves the lead.

"I've had some good luck," Garcia said. "It always feels good to do it at Turner Field, and I'm glad things worked out."

Freddie Freeman began the eighth inning with a single off left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins, who struck out Nick Markakis before being lifted. New York manager Terry Collins called on Reed, a right-hander, to face the right-handed-hitting Garcia.

"He wanted go up above the strike zone, and he left it over the plate," New York manager Terry Collins said. "He's been so good for so long. He just made a bad pitch."

Jim Johnson (1-4) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the win. Arodys Vizcaino threw a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save.

New York starter Matt Harvey allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks in six innings. Harvey struck out three batters, all on called third strikes.


"Matt pitched pretty good," Collins said. "It was a tough night to pitch because of the heat."

After Harvey exited with a 3-2 lead, the Mets bullpen experienced a rare misstep. It was only the second time New York a lost a game when leading after seven innings.

Atlanta starter Matt Wisler pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and a season-high four walks.

Mets left fielder Michael Conforto made a highlight-reel play in the seventh inning to temporarily preserve the lead. Reliever Sean Gilmartin allowed the first two batters to reach, and Jace Peterson moved them over with a sacrifice.

Enter Inciarte lofted a fly to left field, and Conforto caught it and fired a strike to the plate. The throw arrived at the same time as runner Emilio Bonifacio, and Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud blocked the plate and applied the tag for the inning-ending double play.

"I thought the ball beat him, and Travis made a tremendous play," Collins said.

Atlanta challenged the outcome of the play and claimed that d'Arnaud blocked the sliding lane. However, the call was confirmed upon video review, leaving the Mets with a 3-2 lead. Snitker was then ejected for arguing the outcome.


"Sometimes you just have to get it off your chest," Snitker said.

The ejection invigorated the crowd and was definitely a shot of enthusiasm for the Braves.

"You always know Snit has your back," Garcia said. "For him to defend us, it gave us a rush of energy and rallied the whole team."

The Mets scored a run in the second inning on a double by Alejandro De Aza, who broke an 0-for-20 hitless streak when he drove in Conforto.

New York added another run in the third on Neil Walker's sacrifice fly.

Atlanta cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the fourth inning when A.J. Pierzynski singled home Markakis.

The Mets got the run back in the fifth when Walker singled home Curtis Granderson with two outs to break an 0-for-15 streak.

NOTES: New York RHP Noah Syndergaard had an MRI on his right elbow that showed no structural damage. He will be treated with inflammatory medication and has been cleared to resume his normal work routine. ... Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes received a cortisone shot in his left wrist after sustaining a mild strain Wednesday against the Royals. He didn't play Thursday, and he is listed as day-to-day. ... Mike Foltynewicz is scheduled to make a rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Gwinnett. He has been on the disabled list with right elbow soreness since May 31. ... Atlanta 3B Adonis Garcia was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's game with a sprained ankle. ... Starting pitchers for Friday in the second game of a four-game series are Atlanta RHP Aaron Blair (0-4, 7.19 ERA) against New York LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 2.74).


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