NEW YORK -- The Mets survived Chipper Jones
' final at-bat in Flushing, when he seemed poised to deliver one more torturous blow. But all that did was send Jones out of Citi Field hitless in his final series there, before the Braves managed to push across a run without him in the 10th inning Sunday. Brian McCann
, who picked up Jones' mantle as a Mets-killer the past two days, hit a bases-loaded drive to right that resulted in a sacrifice fly when Scott Hairston
made the catch, giving Atlanta a 3-2 win and three-game sweep.
Martin Prado had singled and Bobby Parnell (4-4) walked a pair of batters before McCann, who had hit two home runs in as many days, brought home the winning run. Peter Moylan
gave up a leadoff single to Jordany Valdespin in the bottom of the 10th and watched him move to second on a bunt by Ruben Tejada. Moylan struck out Hairston for the second out as Valdespin stole third, and he walked Daniel Murphy
to bring up David Wright
Wright flied out to right to end the game, giving Moylan his first save of the season.
McCann, who tied a career high with four hits Saturday and snapped a string of 85 at-bats without an extra-base hit, went 1-for-4 with two RBIs Sunday. Murphy had three hits, two doubles and scored two runs for the Mets.
The Mets had a chance in the bottom of the ninth against Craig Kimbrel, when Ike Davis led off the inning with a single and pinch runner Jason Bay stole second with two outs. But Kimbrel (1-1) got Andres Torres
on a grounder to second to end the inning.
Set to retire after the season, Jones was unable to start his final game at Citi Field due to his recurring left knee issue, as manager Fredi Gonzalez wanted to be cautious.
Instead, Jones came up as a pinch hitter with one out in the top of the ninth, the score tied, and a career's worth of painful memories reminding Mets' fans they could soon watch him beat their team one more time. But they embraced the man who created the torment.
The Mets' fans repaid Jones' gracious words about them with a standing ovation.
He did not offer one last bit of torture, such as a game-winning home run, like the one he had hit in his first game at Shea Stadium as a rookie in 1995. Instead, the man who had so much success at the Mets' old ballpark that he named his son Shea walked. He took his base, and then exited for a pinch runner, getting one more ovation from the fans who had so viciously booed him throughout his career.
Jones tipped his helmet in acknowledgement and walked into the dugout in Flushing for the final time.
"It's obviously kind of bittersweet," Jones said before the game, adding he wished he could have started, but understood why Gonzalez sat him. "... I've had a gradual changing of my perception of the fans the last five or six years. It's certainly a lot more cordial. I'm getting a lot of hits from Mets fans on Twitter saying that they still hate me, but still respect (my) career."
Mets closer Frank Francisco sent pinch runner Reed Johnson to second base on a wild pitch and watched him move to third on a grounder for the second out. But Francisco struck out Michael Bourn to end a 10-pitch at-bat and escape the threat.
Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson wasn't quite as dominant as his recent predecessors, but he kept the Braves' pitchers rolling and the Mets struggling. He limited the Mets to two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Chris Young matched Hanson, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings, walking four and striking out seven.
Atlanta took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on McCann's solo homer to right to lead off the inning, his 20th home run of the season. The Mets scored their two runs on two-out hits by Davis and Wright in the fourth and sixth, with both following doubles by Murphy.
NOTES: Mets center fielder Andres Torres returned to the lineup Sunday after missing most of the past two games with a bruised left knee. ... RHP Jenrry Mejia will get a start on Sept. 19, manager Terry Collins announced in his pre-game press briefing, with RHP Matt Harvey getting bumped up to the previous day, in place of Collin McHugh. ... After reaching base in all five plate appearances Saturday and going 5-for-7 in the first two games, Dan Uggla doubled in his first at-bat Sunday, but was held hitless in his next three.
- Chipper Jones
- The Mets
- Peter Moylan