ATLANTA (AP) — Pinch-runner Brent Clevlen trotted home with the winning run on a throwing error by third baseman David Wright in the ninth inning as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Brian McCann opened the bottom of the ninth with a single to right off Pedro Feliciano (1-2), the Braves' first baserunner since the third inning. New York pitchers had retired 16 in a row until McCann reached.
After failing to bunt Clevlen to second, Yunel Escobar wound up taking a walk from Jenrry Mejia. Cabrera also failed in two attempts to get down a sacrifice bunt, then hit a high chopper toward Wright. He threw on the run, but the ball tailed into Cabrera and got by first baseman Ike Davis.
Clevlen came in with the winning run while the ball sailed down the right-field line, making a winner of Billy Wagner (3-0).
Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer off Mets starter Johan Santana in the third, but New York tied it in the fifth with solo homers by Davis and Jeff Francoeur.
Santana went seven strong innings, giving up only five hits. Atlanta's Kris Medlen, starting for the second time in place of injured Jair Jurrjens, allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Peter Moylan came on in the seventh to get Francoeur on a 5-4-3 double play with runners at first and second.
Wagner escaped a major jam in the top of the ninth. Luis Castillo started the inning by barely beating out an infield single. Escobar made a diving stop in the shortstop hole, hopped up and delivered a strong throw to first. The throw appeared to get there at exactly the same time as Castillo's right foot hit the bag, and first-base umpire Ron Kulpa called him safe.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox came to the top step of the dugout to complain, and continued to yap at Kulpa as a wild pitch skidded under the glove of McCann, allowing Castillo to trot down to second. Whatever Cox said, it was enough to get him thrown out for the 155th time in his career and second time this season.
Gary Matthews Jr. bunted Castillo over to third, but he got no farther. Wagner fanned Wright and Davis, the latter with a slider outside the strike zone that followed fastballs of 96 and 98 mph.
Glaus has been one of Atlanta's hottest hitters in May — hitting .371 with four homers and 18 RBIs — after getting off to a rough start with his new team.
The Braves actually put together four straight hits in the third before Cabrera flied out with runners at first and second. Santana was dominant after that, retiring the last 13 hitters he faced. He was lifted for a pinch hitter after throwing 104 pitches.
Medlen breezed through the first three innings, allowing only a walk. Castillo led off the fourth with the first New York hit, only to be erased with a double play.
But the Mets tied it with two swings in the fifth.
Leading off, Davis ripped a high fastball into the right-field seats for his fourth homer of the season. After Angel Pagan flied out, Francoeur got hold of a breaking ball that hung right over the plate, lifting a towering fly that settled a few rows back in left for his fifth homer.
Francoeur, a native of Atlanta who once looked like a rising star for the Braves, was mostly booed by his hometown crowd as he circled the bases. The homer broke an 0-for-20 slump that had prompted the Mets to bench him in the two previous games.
NOTES: Facing the left-handed Santana, the Braves decided to sit out Eric Hinske even though he's been one of the team's hottest hitters. He had a season-high three hits on Monday and homered for the second game in a row, raising his average to .389. ... New York C Rod Barajas was a late scratch after coming down with a stomach virus. Henry Blanco took over behind the plate.