Major Leagues: Mets 3, Braves 2
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2011
ATLANTA — Travel-weary Dillon Gee used borrowed spikes, a borrowed glove and Josh Thole’s hitting in a new-look lineup to help the New York Mets end their longest losing streak in seven years.
Thole, hitting second for the first time this season, had two run-scoring singles, Gee came up from the minors to earn the win and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Sunday to end their seven-game losing streak.
Gee, promoted from Triple-A Buffalo, said he had travel delays in Providence, R.I., and Philadelphia before finally arriving in Atlanta about 1 a.m. on Sunday.
“Yesterday was a long day,” Gee said. “I was stuck in the airport all day.”
His baggage never arrived, so he had to borrow Thole’s shoes and Bobby Parnell’s glove.
“It’s the same game out there, no matter what glove you’ve got,” Gee said.
Gee left Turner Field in a shirt and tie borrowed from another teammate, Mike Nickeas.
He also left with a win and a guarantee of at least one more start in New York’s rotation after ending the Mets’ longest skid since 11 straight losses in 2004.
“It’s our biggest win so far, I can tell you that,” manager Terry Collins said. “The key today was Dillon Gee getting us innings.”
Collins used his roster as if managing a postseason game. Starting pitchers Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey threw in relief behind Gee.
“It’s both their days to throw anyway,” Collins said. “They were going to throw (in the bullpen) anyway.”
Gee (1-0) gave up five hits and a run in 5 2-3 innings to beat Tommy Hanson (1-3).
“He kept us off balance most of the game,” Braves catcher Brian McCann said.
Collins shook up the lineup, moving Thole, the Mets’ catcher, up from the No. 8 spot to hit behind leadoff hitter Jose Reyes. Thole had run-scoring singles in the first and fifth innings.
“Believe me, we haven’t played up to our capabilities, but we’re a good team,” Collins said.
More help could come soon. Collins will meet with outfielder Jason Bay on Monday, and Bay could come off the disabled list Tuesday in New York against Houston.
“I hope he’s ready to play,” Collins said. “I hope he’s ready to hit, but to get him back and get him in our lineup means a lot to us.”
Bay, on the disabled list with a rib cage injury, was 0 for 3 while playing seven innings in his second injury rehab game with Class-A St. Lucie on Sunday. He was 1 for 2 on Saturday night with an intentional walk.
Atlanta’s Jason Heyward hit a homer off Jason Isringhausen in the eighth.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his second save. Chipper Jones walked to lead off the ninth and was stranded on third when Rodriguez struck out pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad.
The Mets bounced back after being swept in doubleheaders by the Braves on Saturday and by Colorado on Thursday.
Ike Davis drove in Thole with a single in the first inning.
Thole hit eighth in each of his previous 11 starts.
The Mets needed Gee after placing right-hander Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with right biceps tendinitis. Young will miss at least one more start, so Collins said Gee will have another start this week.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez also altered his lineup. Heyward hit second, McCann hit third and Dan Uggla hit fourth as Jones was given a break after playing both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. Jones entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
Uggla led off the second with a triple and, following a walk to Eric Hinske, scored on Freddie Freeman’s single. The Braves loaded the bases following a single by Alex Gonzalez, but with one out Hanson whiffed on a squeeze play and Hinske was caught in a run-down between third base and home to end the inning.
Hanson said he didn’t miss the sign to bunt.
Hanson struck out nine in five innings but gave up three runs on five hits and two walks.
Notes: 3B David Wright and a group of kids had an impromptu game of catch before the game that began when Wright threw a ball into the stands. Instead of keeping the souvenir, a kid tossed the ball to Wright, who then threw it back to start a game of catch with several young fans that lasted several minutes. … Wright had three strikeouts and hit into a double play. … The Mets designated LHP Pat Misch for assignment to clear a spot for Gee.