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Braves come through in clutch in win vs. Mets

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- After failing repeatedly with runners on in a doubleheader loss to the New York Mets the day before, the Atlanta Braves came through when it counted Wednesday night.

The Braves scored all their runs with two outs and Kris Medlen overcame his own two-run throwing error to defeat the Mets 5-3 and add to 0-9 right-hander Shawn Marcum's frustrations.

Chris Johnson had a three-run homer and B.J. Upton, who also had two hits, delivered a run-scoring double as the Braves maintained their seven-game lead in the National League East.

"Two-out hitting is clutch hitting," said Johnson, who hadn't homered since May 13. "But we'll take runs anyway we can get them. It's just good to get a win. They kicked our butts yesterday."

Medlen (4-7) allowed five hits and one earned run before leaving after a leadoff single by pinch-hitter Josh Satin in the eighth inning. He struck out seven and walked none, throwing 105 pitches while lowering his ERA to 2.96.

But everyone was talking about his wild throw to the wrong base afterward.

"Can I apologize to every coach I've ever had?" said Medlen, who thought triple play when going for a double play was the thing to do and then threw the ball away.

"I hope there were no kids watching," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I hope they were in bed. There was no rhyme or reason for throwing to third base."

Medlen was able to overcome the mistake. Nothing has gone right for Marcum this season.

"Unfortunately, it's been a three-month or 2 1/2-month ordeal for me so far," the veteran said.

Marcum remained winless for the Mets. He gave up five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and four walks. Included among his 96 pitches was a run-scoring wild pitch.

"I felt like I didn't locate anything," Marcum said.

The Braves took back the lead and knocked Marcum out of the game in the fifth after the Mets had tied it in the top of the inning. Jordan Schafer, who had led off with a double, scored on a wild pitch with a quick break from third after a big lead.

"He's a heads-up player," said Gonzalez, noting Schafer's recognition that the Mets were in a shift.

Then B.J. Upton, who had been 0-for-28 on the season in similar situations, made it a two-run game with his two-out double.

Johnson had put the Braves on top with a three-run homer off Marcum in the fourth, but the Mets got the runs back in the top of the fifth as Medlen made his crazy throw.

After giving up a leadoff hit to Marlon Byrd and hitting Lucas Duda, Medlen fielded John Buck's comebacker and threw wildly to third base for a two-run error. Then Kirk Nieuwenhuis blooped in an RBI single.

"I thank the team for picking me up and winning the game," said Medlen, who was presented the base he threw to by mistake after the game.

Luis Avilan quickly induced a double play after relieving Medlen and Craig Kimbrel struck out two in a perfect ninth inning for his 20th save.

Before the three-run inning, Medlen had allowed just a leadoff hit to Eric Young Jr. in his first at-bat after being acquired by the Mets from Colorado.

Johnson's homer came after two-out hits by Upton and Dan Uggla. The third baseman picked on a 2-0 cutter that Marcum left in the middle of the plate and deposited his fourth homer of the season into the left field seats.

"When you can't locate your fastball, it makes it difficult to pitch," Marcum said. "Definitely for someone like me. If you throw 95 (mph), you don't have to be as fine."

NOTES: The five-game series concludes Thursday night, with LHP Mike Minor (8-2, 2.68 ERA) starting for the Braves against LHP Jonathon Niese (3-6, 4.15). ... RHP Zack Wheeler, who won his major-league debut with six scoreless innings against the Braves in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, will return from Triple-A Las Vegas to start next Tuesday against the White Sox in Chicago as the Mets use a six-man rotation. ... The Braves signed RHP Jason Hursh, their first-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, to a $1.7 million bonus deal and assigned him to Class A Rome. ... OF/INF Young, acquired from the Rockies for RHP Collin McHugh, started in CF and batted leadoff for the Mets. ... OF Collin Cowgill was designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Young on the 40-man roster. ... RHP Scott Atchinson (groin) was returned to the Mets' disabled list and OF/1B Andrew Brown was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
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