Upton’s HRs not enough as Braves fall to Mets, 6-4
ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Upton had his power breakout.
Chipper Jones is trying to help the Braves’ other Upton.
Justin Upton had three hits, including his first two home runs of the season, but the Braves couldn’t slow down Eric Young Jr. and the Mets’ running game in their 6-4 loss to New York on Thursday night.
Young got three hits, stole three bases and scored four times. He stole five bases in the series as the Mets won two of three at Turner Field.
Upton drove in three runs with three hits. He hit an opposite-field homer in the second inning before his long, two-run drive to left field in the third.
“This is a game of adjustments,” Upton said. “It’s day to day and every day you’re trying to find that timing, find what works for you. Tonight I felt good.
“The only thing I can do is try to take that same exact feel to tomorrow night and the next day and try to make something of it.”
Upton’s older brother, B.J., hit a triple after receiving pregame batting tips from Jones.
Jones, the former Braves star in his second year of retirement, talked with B.J. Upton about eliminating an extra “hinge” in his swing. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he “threw a little chum in the water” when he invited Jones, who is always willing to talk about hitting.
Gonzalez said Jones “has got a little itch” to spend more time with the team.
“When it comes to hitting, it’s hard for me to keep quiet, if you can’t tell that already,” Jones said, adding, “I do miss it. I miss the camaraderie in the clubhouse.”
B.J. Upton, who took a .138 batting average into the game, had help on his triple when right fielder Curtis Granderson lost the ball as it went over his head. It was his only hit.
The Mets broke a 4-all tie in the seventh. Luis Avilan (1-1) gave up a leadoff single to Daniel Murphy, who scored on a two-out single by Juan Lagares off Gus Schlosser. Murphy drove in three runs with three hits.
Carlos Torres (2-0) allowed only one hit in two scoreless innings. Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
Led by Young, the Mets stole five bases, their high total since May 28, 2011 against Philadelphia. Young also used his speed to lead off a two-run third inning with a bunt single.
“Young scored four runs by himself,” Gonzalez said, adding “that pretty much beat us.”
Justin Upton’s second homer gave the Braves a 4-3 lead.
Mets starter Jenrry Mejia, obviously frustrated, slapped his mitt and then appeared to throw the glove to the grass. “I just threw my hand up and the glove went out of my hand,” Mejia said.
Mejia gave up four runs in five innings on six hits and four walks. Atlanta’s David Hale also had control problems as he gave up four runs, three earned, in 4 1-3 innings on five hits and five walks.
“Right form the very beginning David didn’t give us a solid outing, really,” Gonzalez said. “He was really struggling with his mechanics a little bit.”
The Mets tied the game in the fifth on a leadoff triple by Young and Murphy’s single. The Mets loaded the bases on two walks by Hale, but reliever Anthony Varvaro struck out Lagares and ended the inning on Travis d’Arnaud’s groundout.
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was held out with a jammed right wrist. He said he hurt the wrist in a home-plate collision in Wednesday night’s game. He is day to day.
Ramiro Pena, making his first start of the season, replaced Simmons and had one hit.
NOTES: Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, sat near the Braves’ dugout. ... Hale is Atlanta’s first starting pitcher to give up more than two runs this season. ... Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran will face Washington RHP Tanner Roark as the Braves’ homestand continues.