Markakis leaves 9 on base in Braves’ 5-3 loss to Mets
NEW YORK (AP) — Nick Markakis had three tries to turn things around for the Braves. He came up empty each time.
Atlanta’s cleanup hitter grounded into two doubles plays with the bases loaded and left nine men on in a 5-3 loss to the New York Mets on Friday night.
“Just some bad at-bats by me today, especially in big situations, second- guessing myself up there a couple of times and that kind of made the mental aspect of it,” Markakis said. “I think I was thinking up there too much and you get yourself into trouble when you start doing that.”
Markakis had a shot against Bartolo Colon with two outs in the fifth and hit a comebacker, failed against a wild Alex Torres in the seventh, then ended the game with a grounder to second base in the ninth against closer Jeurys Familia
Alex Wood (4-4) entered his 12th start of the season having allowed only two home runs — one was to Michael Cuddyer on April 12 — but he was tagged twice early by the Mets.
Wilmer Flores connected leading off the second, in his first career at-bat in the No. 4 hole.
With slumping left-handed Lucas Duda out of the lineup against a lefty, manager Terry Collins elevated the rookie shortstop into the cleanup spot but was quick to say that this move was just a one-day necessity.
John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run shot in the fourth after Flores was intentionally walked with one out to give New York a 3-0 lead.
“I thought it was a battle all night,” Wood said. “The pitch to Wilmer was a pitch I left over and the pitch to Mayberry just a bad pitch selection on my part.”
Wood allowed five runs — four earned — and six hits in 6 1-3 innings
The 42-year-old Colon (9-4) gave up two runs and six hits in six effective innings as he matched Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, who was roughed up at Houston, and Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole for most victories in baseball.
Familia, whose availability for the game was uncertain because he was awaiting the birth of his child, loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before getting Markakis to ground into the Braves’ third double play for his 18th save.
“He’s a professional and you keep getting him in those situations and he’s going to split a gap,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said about Markakis.
Cuddyer followed up his game-winning hit Thursday against San Francisco with an RBI double in the seventh as New York beat Atlanta for a fifth straight time after losing the first two games between the teams this year.
The NL East-leading Mets improved to 22-11 in the weak division.
The Braves loaded the bases with three straight singles to open the fifth. Wood then hit a grounder to short for a potential double play and Flores bobbled the ball before flipping to second for the force. A.J. Pierzynski scored and Wood had an RBI.
Jace Peterson doubled in a run to make it 3-2.
The Braves had two runners on in the sixth but, for the second straight inning, Colon got the final out on a comebacker.
“He didn’t have his good stuff,” Collins said, “but he battles so well you kind of liked where you were sitting, even in the sixth inning. Today he really had to work for it and he kept us in it.”
Eric Campbell had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth. Mayberry, who singled for his second hit and advanced when Dilson Herrera walked, was on third because Wood threw a pickoff attempt at second base into center field.
Braves: Peter Moylan, attempting a comeback after a second Tommy John surgery, allowed three hits and two runs in one inning for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
Mets: The Mets placed reliever Erik Goeddel on the 15-day DL because of a strained right elbow. Goeddel had not allowed a run since May 27, 5 2-3 scoreless innings.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller lowered his ERA to 1.84 when he allowed just one run in seven innings against San Diego in his last start.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom was named co-NL player of the week with Clayton Kershaw after going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA. DeGrom is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts vs. the Braves.
Wood nearly had to skip his start in New York. Gonzalez said his Friday starter was sent to the bullpen during the Braves’ 11-inning loss to San Diego on Thursday. He never had to warm up. Gonzalez said Wood was next in.