Published November 20, 2014
Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer and Jon Niese pitched seven strong innings, as the New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, spoiling the first of Chipper Jones' final three regular-season home games.
Jones, who is retiring at the end of the season, was honored with a pre-game ceremony in front of the seventh largest crowd in the history of Turner Field, but the 18-year veteran finished 0-for-4 on the night.
"I'm glad it's over, it's been a lot of attention," said Jones. "I was an emotional wreck all night. It was tough to stay focused with the tributes in between innings from ex-teammates and teammates and everything like that. It was too overwhelming, I was a little too emotional to be able to go out there and play effectively tonight."
Niese (13-9) was dominant for New York, which has won seven of its last eight games. He made just one mistake, giving up a homer to Freddie Freeman in fourth. He struck out three and didn't allow a hit over his final three innings.
Duda provided the Mets' only offense with his blast in the seventh off Tim Hudson (16-7), who allowed five hits while striking out four over seven frames.
Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Daniel Murphy doubled to lead off the seventh and advanced to third on David Wright's fly out. Hudson then intentionally walked Ike Davis before Duda smacked a two-out, three-run shot over the right-field fence on the ninth pitch of his at-bat.
"It's just one of those games with the crowd like that, you could get a lot of energy. It's not very hard to find the energy in a game like tonight," said Niese. "A lot of guys made some great plays behind me. Lucas had a great hit, just fortunate to get the win."
Jones denied the Mets from pouring it on in the eighth when he turned a double play with the bases loaded. With one-out, Wright hit a chopper to Jones, who stepped on the bag at third and threw out Wright at first to end the inning.
The Braves, who lost for just the third time in their last 13 games, put just one runner in scoring position on Jones' honorary night.
The Braves, who have already clinched a playoff berth, trail the Washington Nationals by four games with five left to play for the NL East lead ... New York's Ruben Tejada extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Parnell has given up just one earned run over his last 12 innings. ... Atlanta lost to New York for just second time in 10 tries since the All-Star break.