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Braves celebrate Chipper, but then Mets celebrate Duda's homer

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Lucas Duda spoiled Chipper Jones' big night with a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 Friday at Turner Field.

The Braves had honored Jones in a pregame ceremony, showering him with tributes and gifts, including dismantling and installing his clubhouse locker in his new house.

Despite all the emotion running through the ballpark, Tim Hudson and Jonathan Niese got right down to business.

"It was pretty incredible," Niese said. "It was like a playoff atmosphere. It's always an honor to be able to face a player like that, a future Hall of Famer. To do it tonight in front of all those people was pretty special."

Hudson (16-7) had his sinker working from the first batter, allowing only three hits yet facing only one batter over the minimum through five innings thanks to sharp defense and a caught-stealing.

Freddie Freeman's fourth-inning home run was the only time a Brave got past first base against Niese. To that point, Niese (13-9) had allowed only two hits, one each in the first and second innings, which didn't hurt him. He scattered some flyball outs but mostly got the same grounders Hudson was getting. He wasn't as economical with his pitches, though, piling up 84 pitches to Hudson's 51 through five innings.

But Daniel Murphy made it to third base in the seventh after leading off with a double. After Jason Heyward made an eye-popping catch to rob David Wright of a sure extra-base hit, Ike Davis was walked intentionally. Hudson was almost out of the inning after striking out Scott Hairston, and then Duda got hold of a 3-2 pitch.

"I was kind of nervous," Duda said. "Two strikes. I just tried to make contact, get the ball up, and it went out of the park."

Hudson said, "It's frustrating that one pitch pretty much put a damper on the whole night."

Jones, who usually produces some sort of magic when he's in the spotlight, couldn't muster a hit. But he did pull off a 5-3 double play with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to keep the game close.

"I think," Jones said, "I had a tear planted in the corner of my eye the whole night."

NOTES: The ceremony for Jones was an emotional one. "I don't even want to think about the last game he plays," manager Fredi Gonzalez said before batting practice, and Mets manager Terry Collins said, "I think it's very, very cool we get to watch." ... R.A. Dickey's wife and four children drove to Atlanta from Nashville on Thursday, and Dickey was able to celebrate his 20th win earlier in the day by giving his kids baths and putting them to bed. Dickey's next start will be either next Tuesday or Wednesday, Collins said. ... Collins also said that right-handed reliever Bobby Parnell will be the closer through the end of the season. Closer Frank Francisco hasn't thrown in 10 days and hasn't played catch in five days. While he is not officially shut down, it would be tough for him to be ready to pitch in a game situation before the season ends. ... Shortstop Ronny Cedeno's tight hamstring is getting better. ... Braves center fielder Michael Bourn sat out another start with a slightly sprained left thumb. An MRI taken Thursday showed no structural damage. ... Second baseman Dan Uggla is playing with three metal staples on the index knuckle of his right hand. He slashed it on an empty champagne bottle as he was reaching for a can of beer during Tuesday's playoff-berth-clinching celebration.
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