New York at Atlanta

Scoreboard
N.Y. Mets (7-8) «0200000125101
Atlanta (11-11)001100000261

Mets 5, Braves 2

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Jeremy Hefner showed that he can punch out hitters if he gets riled up enough.

Not known as a strikeout pitcher, Hefner struck out the last six Atlanta batters he faced in a five-inning outing marred earlier by two home runs in the New York Mets' 5-2 win over the Braves on Friday.

"I got mad more than anything," Hefner said. "I was less than thrilled with my performance before then."

Juan Francisco hit a leadoff homer in the third inning and Freddie Freeman connected to start the fourth. But after B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla followed Freeman's blast with singles, Hefner ended the inning with three strikeouts and then fanned the side in the fifth.

Asked when he had struck out six in a row the last time, Hefner said, "High school or maybe college. Is that what I had?"

The Mets have an open spot in their rotation because of the absence of Johan Santana and Hefner will likely fill it. He has a 2.93 ERA this spring and 15 strikeouts with only three walks in 15 1-3 innings.

The 27-year-old pitcher split last season between the majors and Triple-A Buffalo, going 4-7 with a 5.09 ERA in 26 games (13 starts) for the Mets.

So far this spring, Mets manager Terry Collins likes what he has seen.

"He's throwing the ball very, very well," Collins said. "A lot of strikes."

With Santana not ready to start the season, Collins said that Aaron Laffey might also get a look as a potential starter before spring training is over. The left-hander finished up the win over the Braves with 2 2-3 hitless innings.

"We've got to find ourselves another insurance (starter)," Collins said. "We need some other guys in the mix."

Tim Hudson started for the Braves and bounced back from a rough outing against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, when he gave up nine hits and six runs in five innings.

Hudson worked six innings and allowed five hits and two second-inning runs. Lucas Duda hit a leadoff homer and Brandon Hicks delivered a RBI double.

"A little better, but not a lot," Hudson said. "I'm still not where I want to be with my command. It's taking a little longer than I would like. I wish I was a little more fine-tuned. But there are still two weeks to go."

Braves center fielder Upton might not need more preparation time, though. Upton, signed as a free agent over the winter, is hitting .444 (20 for 44) and has 10 hits in 15 at-bats over his past five games. He had a single and double in three trips to the plate against the Mets.

The Mets broke a tie with an unearned run in the eighth and added two runs in the ninth. Andrew Brown and Jamie Hoffmann each drove in a run with a double.

NOTES: Zach Lutz had two hits for the Mets and is batting .355 (11 for 31). ... OF Jose Constanza finally joined the Braves after being delayed in the Dominican Republic for nearly a month by visa issues and was thrown out trying to steal as a pinch runner. Constanza is competing with Jordan Schafer for a roster spot. ... Mets 2B Daniel Murphy, sidelined by a strained intercostals muscle, saw his first action of the spring, playing a few innings defensively during a minor league game back at Port St. Lucie. ... The Mets optioned INF Wilmer Flores and reassigned RHP Carlos Torres and INF Josh Satin to minor league camp. ... The Braves optioned 1B Ernesto Mejia to AAA Gwinnett and sent OF Todd Cunningham, C Matt Kennelly and SS Elmer Reyes to minor league camp. Both teams are down to 42 players.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
New York

Z. Lutz
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordany Valdespin, 2B5011003 .343
Ruben Tejada, SS4000002 .115
    Aaron Laffey, P0000000 .000
Collin Cowgill, CF5110001 .333
Lucas Duda, LF2111100 .250
    Andrew Brown, LF2011001 .179
John Buck, C2110100 .333
    Travis d'Arnaud, C1010000 .292
Mike Baxter, RF3000002 .111
    Josh Edgin, P0000000 .000
    Scott Atchison, P0000000 .000
    Omar Quintanilla, SS1000001 .261
Zach Lutz, 1B4020002 .355
Brandon Hicks, 3B2111201 .148
Jeremy Hefner, P2000012 .000
    Jamie Hoffmann, RF2111000 .192
Totals35510541  
Batting
2B - Brandon Hicks (1, Hudson), Jamie Hoffmann (2, Gearrin)
HR - Lucas Duda (2, Hudson)
SH - Aaron Laffey (1)
RBI - Jordany Valdespin (7), Lucas Duda (4), Andrew Brown (3), Brandon Hicks (3), Jamie Hoffmann (5)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Hicks (2)
CS - Collin Cowgill (2, 2nd base by Hudson/Laird)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Ruben Tejada (1, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hefner 5522172 2.93
Josh Edgin 0.1000000 4.50
Scott Atchison 1.1100010 2.70
Aaron Laffey (W,1-0) 2.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hefner 44-35, Josh Edgin 1-1, Scott Atchison 8-8, Aaron Laffey 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hefner 1-7, Josh Edgin 1-0, Scott Atchison 1-3
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hefner 21, Josh Edgin 1, Scott Atchison 6, Aaron Laffey 6
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ramiro Pena, SS3000110 .286
    Jose Constanza, PR0000000 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
    Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
Jason Heyward, RF3000012 .195
    Jordan Schafer, CF1000000 .244
Justin Upton, LF3000012 .214
    Chris Johnson, 1B1000000 .317
Freddie Freeman, 1B3111000 .333
    Jordan Parraz, RF1000000 .300
B.J. Upton, CF3020000 .444
    Tyler Pastornicky, 2B-SS1000000 .366
Dan Uggla, 2B3010001 .213
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Blake DeWitt, 2B1000000 .226
Juan Francisco, 3B4111033 .286
Gerald Laird, C3010012 .111
    Christian Bethancourt, C0000000 .143
Tim Hudson, P2000023 .000
    Reed Johnson, LF1000000 .171
Totals3326219  
Batting
2B - B.J. Upton (5, Atchison), Gerald Laird (1, Hefner)
HR - Freddie Freeman (4, Hefner), Juan Francisco (3, Hefner)
RBI - Freddie Freeman (8), Juan Francisco (6)
CS - Jose Constanza (1, 2nd base by Laffey/d'Arnaud)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Reed Johnson 1
E - Tyler Pastornicky (3, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Hudson 6522211 5.40
Eric O'Flaherty 1100100 0.00
Cristhian Martinez (L,0-1) 1210000 6.48
Cory Gearrin 1222100 2.57
WP - Cristhian Martinez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 34-24, Eric O'Flaherty 8-4, Cristhian Martinez 6-5, Cory Gearrin 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 11-5, Eric O'Flaherty 2-1, Cristhian Martinez 2-1, Cory Gearrin 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 24, Eric O'Flaherty 5, Cristhian Martinez 5, Cory Gearrin 6
Game Information
Attendance - 9186
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Jeff Gosney, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Jeff Nelson