ATLANTA (AP) — Bartolo 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.
Jose Valverde loaded the basses in the ninth before Jason Heyward flied to the warning track in center field to end it.
The 40-year-old Colon (1-1) was dominant through seven innings. He 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).
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 homer 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.
Harang, who gave up only two hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings in beating Milwaukee in his Braves’ debut on Wednesday, was hurt by control problems in an otherwise strong outing against the Mets.
Harang 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.
The Mets added two runs off Braves rookie Gus Schlosser in the seventh. Travis d’Arnaud led off with a double that fell in left-center with centerfielder B.J. Upton appeared to give up on it. Left fielder Justin Upton came up short on his attempt to make a sliding catch. Tejada drove in d’Arnaud with a single.
Young’s single to right field off Luis Avilan drove in Tejada. Young was out at second on Heyward’s strong throw from right field.
Avilan left the game with a left hamstring cramp after he dodged Murphy’s broken-bat on a single. Avilan was limping and was unable to make a warm-up throw after manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jeff Porter came to the mound.
Mets manager Terry 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.
NOTES: 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 closer Bobby Parnell had successful right elbow ligament-replacement surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, performed by Dr. David Altchek. The team announced plans for the season-ending surgery on Sunday.