7,570: Mets fall to 7 1/2 GB with loss to Braves

Mets losing ground

The Braves’ bullpen outperformed the Mets staff and Chipper Jones knocked in the go-ahead run Thursday night for a 5-3 win at Turner Field.

Starter Oliver Perez lost his no-hitter in the second inning when Yunel Escobar blasted a homer to left, making it 7,570 New York Mets games without a no-no. Garret Anderson then stepped to the plate and launched a deep liner to right, just clearing the foul pole for back-to-back homers that gave the Braves a 2-0 lead.

The Mets fought back in the fourth after Luis Castillo reached base on a weakly hit single up the middle that should have been fielded by Martin Prado. David Wright advanced Castillo to third with a single on a hit-and-run play, and Sheffield scored him on what should double-play ball that, too, was mishandled by Prado. Wright scored on a Jeff Francoeur groundout, and Daniel Murphy drove in Sheffield with a double to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

But those would be all the runs the Mets could muster, and the Braves tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when Brian McCann scored on a Matt Diaz double to left, just sneaking in under Brian Schneider’s tag.

Perez again limited his hits over his six innings of work, yielding just five, but again showed control issues by issuing four walks. He left with the game tied at 3.

Pedro Feliciano walked what would turn out to be the go ahead run in the seventh by walking pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad, and Bobby Parnell let him score with back-to-back singles by Prado and Chipper Jones.

Atlanta added an insurance run in the eighth when pinch-hitter Greg Norton singled home pinch-runner Ryan Church.

The Braves’ bullpen shut down the Mets in the latter innings.

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