Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 14th inning was the difference, as the New York Mets avoided a three-game sweep with a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a walk against Gus Schlosser (0-1) to start the decisive frame and Ruben Tejada moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Eric Young Jr. was then intentionally walked, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Granderson lofted the second pitch he saw to left field, and Justin Upton's throw came in just behind Nieuwenhuis.
"It was really good, any way to help the team win a ballgame," said Granderson. "That's what our ultimate goal is, to go up there and pick up W's."
Schlosser took the loss despite holding New York hitless over 3 2/3 innings, while Jose Valverde (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 14th to earn his first win of the year. Prior to the game, Mets manager Terry Collins replaced Valverde at closer with Kyle Farnsworth.
David Wright had four hits for the Mets while extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Granderson went 0-for-6, and is now hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
New York manufactured a run in both the first and second inning thanks to a pair of errors by Atlanta.
Young led off the bottom of the first and reached second when Upton dropped his fly ball in left field. Young moved to third on Granderson's line out to right and scored on Wright's grounder to second.
The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the second after Lucas Duda and Anthony Recker singled and Omar Quintanilla worked a walk. Mets starter Zack Wheeler grounded to second, but Dan Uggla fumbled the ball on the exchange and all runners were safe. Braves starter David Hale avoided further damage by getting Young to pop to shortstop and Granderson to ground weakly to first.
Atlanta finally got to Wheeler in the fifth inning with three consecutive doubles with a man on first and one out. Gerald Laird walked to start the inning but was thrown out on Hale's bunt attempt. Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman followed with doubles to put the Braves in front 3-2.
"We battled," Laird said. "We went out there and played a good game. They made the play when they had to."
Hale yielded back-to-back singles to Wright and Daniel Murphy to start the home half of the sixth. He struck out Chris Young for the first out but another Uggla error -- this time on a Duda ground ball -- allowed Wright to trot home and tie the game.
Hale and Wheeler both allowed three runs on six hits over six innings. One of Hale's runs was unearned.
Six Mets relievers combined to keep Atlanta off the scoreboard over the final eight innings. Carlos Torres pitched two perfect frames and Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out five in three hitless innings before giving way to Valverde.
Atlanta had won seven of eight entering Sunday ... The Braves finished their six-game road trip with a 4-2 mark. They return home to host Miami on Monday ... Heyward had three hits ... Young went 0-for-6 with a strikeout. The Mets' leadoff hitter has struck out at least once in every game this season ... New York went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 on base.