New York at Atlanta

Colon outpitches Harang, Mets shut out Braves wire reports

ATLANTA -- Seven innings of Bartolo Colon's dominance only made Jose Valverde's ninth-inning escape look even scarier.

Colon combined with two relievers on an eight-hitter, Ruben Tejada drove in two runs with two hits and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Valverde loaded the basses in the ninth before Jason Heyward flied to the warning track in center field to end it.

Colon, 40, gave up six hits and no walks, struck out five and didn't allow more than one baserunner in any inning until the seventh as he outpitched Atlanta's Aaron Harang (1-1).

Travis d'Arnaud said catching Colon (1-1) is "a lot of fun."

"He commands all his pitches," d'Arnaud said. "What else could you ask for from a pitcher?"

Tejada scored on a wild pitch by Harang in the third and had run-scoring singles in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Braves honored the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th home run in a pregame ceremony attended by baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Al Downing, the former Dodgers left-hander who gave up the homer, attended the ceremony and threw out the first pitch.

There was little left to get excited about for the home crowd until the ninth.

Justin Upton and Dan Uggla had back-to-back singles off Valverde. Evan Gattis, who returned after missing two games -- and losing seven pounds -- because of a stomach virus, hit a fielder's choice grounder that forced Upton at third.

Valverde then fielded Andrelton Simmons' grounder, turned and threw wide of second base for an error, leaving the bases loaded. Pinch-hitter Gerald Laird popped out to second base and Lagares caught Heyward's shot to end the game.

"I knew I just missed it," Heyward said. "I'd like to be in that spot every time. I'd like to come through."

Heyward, who was 0 for 5, is hitting .107.

Mets manager Terry Collins said the Braves had aggressive swings in the ninth because Valverde was throwing strikes.

"The ninth inning is a tough inning," Collins said.

"You've got a club like the Braves who swing the bats and this guy attacks the strike zone. They're gonna get some hits. When he starts missing is when he gets in trouble. When he throws strikes, he gets outs because you've got to swing."

Valverde moved into the closer's role as the replacement for Bobby Parnell, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

Harang was hurt by control problems in an otherwise strong outing. He allowed only two hits with nine strikeouts in six innings, but he gave up four walks, including two in the third. Tejada led off with a walk and eventually scored on Harang's wild pitch to David Wright.

"I tried to put him away, a 2-2 count, I threw a slider in the dirt," Harang said. "It took an awkward bounce, got away from Evan.

"Other than that I felt good. I kept them off-balance. We just weren't able to work anything up on Colon tonight."

The Mets added two runs off Braves rookie Gus Schlosser in the seventh. Tejada and Young had run-scoring singles.

Braves left-hander Luis Avilan left the game in the seventh with a left hamstring cramp after he dodged Daniel Murphy's broken-bat on a single. Avilan was limping and was unable to make a warm-up throw but said after the game he did not expect to miss any time.

Collins asked for a review when Juan Lagares was called out at first base on a grounder to reliever Ian Thomas in the eighth. Following a 3-minute review, Lagares was ruled safe.


Braves RHP Cory Gearrin confirmed he will have season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Braves previously lost starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to season-ending elbow injuries this spring. ... RHP Ervin Santana will make his first start for the Braves on Wednesday after signing with the team on March 12. RHP Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets. ... The Mets said Parnell's right elbow ligament-replacement surgery, performed by Dr. David Altchek, was successful. The team announced plans for the surgery on Sunday.

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Eric Young Jr. slides into second before the tag by Braves second baseman Dan Uggla in the third inning of the Mets win. (USATSI)
Eric Young Jr. slides into second before the tag by Braves second baseman Dan Uggla in the third inning of the Mets win. (USATSI)

Related Video

New York (N.L.) Mets
Eric Young Jr., LF4021110 .174
Daniel Murphy, 2B5010022 .250
David Wright, 3B5000013 .192
Curtis Granderson, RF2000201 .154
Lucas Duda, 1B4110002 .167
Juan Lagares, CF4010022 .333
Travis d'Arnaud, C4120002 .105
Ruben Tejada, SS3222112 .286
Bartolo Colon, P2000021 .000
   a-Ike Davis, PH1000002 .444
   Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
   Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Colon in the 8th
2B - Travis d'Arnaud (1, Schlosser)
SH - Bartolo Colon (1)
RBI - Eric Young Jr. (2), Ruben Tejada 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ruben Tejada (1)
SB - Eric Young Jr. 2 (2, 2nd base off Harang/Gattis), Curtis Granderson (1, 2nd base off Harang/Gattis)
Team LOB - 8
E - Ruben Tejada (1, Misplayed grounder), Jose Valverde (1, Throwing)
New York (N.L.) Mets
Bartolo Colon (W,1-1) 7600050 2.08
Kyle Farnsworth 1000010 2.08
Jose Valverde 1200000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 101-70, Kyle Farnsworth 11-7, Jose Valverde 25-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 8-9, Jose Valverde 2-2
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 28, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Jose Valverde 6
Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward, RF5000015 .107
B.J. Upton, CF4010020 .138
Freddie Freeman, 1B4010001 .391
Chris Johnson, 3B4010001 .296
Justin Upton, LF4020001 .231
Dan Uggla, 2B4010021 .222
Evan Gattis, C4010003 .188
Andrelton Simmons, SS4010001 .292
Aaron Harang, P2000010 .000
   Gus Schlosser, P0000000 .000
   Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   a-Ryan Doumit, PH1000000 .222
   Ian Thomas, P0000000 .000
   Pedro Beato, P0000000 .000
   b-Gerald Laird, PH1000003 .250
a-grounded out for Varvaro in the 7th
b-popped out for Beato in the 9th
2B - Freddie Freeman (2, Colon)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Jason Heyward 1
Atlanta Braves
Aaron Harang (L,1-1) 6211490 0.71
Gus Schlosser 0.1222000 7.36
Luis Avilan 0.1200000 0.00
Anthony Varvaro 0.1000000 0.00
Ian Thomas 0.1211000 5.40
Pedro Beato 1.2100000 0.00
WP - Aaron Harang (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 110-66, Gus Schlosser 10-7, Luis Avilan 8-4, Anthony Varvaro 2-2, Ian Thomas 9-6, Pedro Beato 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 1-8, Gus Schlosser 1-0, Anthony Varvaro 1-0, Pedro Beato 1-4
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 24, Gus Schlosser 3, Luis Avilan 2, Anthony Varvaro 1, Ian Thomas 3, Pedro Beato 6
Game Information
Attendance - 47144
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Mark Ripperger, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Kerwin Danley