Sloppy fielding dooms Mets to loss
ATLANTA (AP) -- Mets third baseman David Wright was disappointed to make the wrong choice at the wrong time in the eighth inning.
"You have a split second to make a decision," he said, "and it turned out to be the incorrect one."
Phil Gosselin had a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning off Rafael Montero after Wright guessed wrong on a potential forceout, and the New York Mets took a sloppy 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Atlanta recovered after starting pitcher Eric Stults blew a three-run lead in a game delayed more than an hour by rain at the start.
The Braves, despite a major roster overhaul that pointed to a rebuilding year in Atlanta, are 4-0 to begin the season for the first time since they were 7-0 in 1994.
Chris Johnson led off the eighth with a double off Rafael Montero (0-1), the fourth New York pitcher, and was replaced by pinch-runner Jace Peterson.
As Wright charged toward the infield grass to pick up Andrelton Simmons' grounder, Peterson was able to run behind Wright, avoid his tag attempt and safely reach third.
"I thought I could make the tag on him," Wright said, "and he made a nice move to the outside and I couldn't catch up to him."
Peterson believed he could easily make it to third as soon as Wright moved up to field the ball.
"I knew I had it," Peterson said. "Once he went up, I knew I had it. He was looking at first, and by the time he saw me, I was behind him."
Simmons made it to second when nobody covered the bag, and both runners scored on Gosselin's single to make it 5-3.
Jim Johnson (1-0) gave up one hit and struck out the side in the eighth.
Jason Grilli earned his third save.
Montero, who got the last out of the seventh and was chased by Gosselin's hit, allowed two hits, two runs, one walk and struck out three in one inning.
Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores made two throwing errors that helped Atlanta jump out to a 3-0 lead.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the first when Maybin homered on Niese's second pitch of the game and Nick Markakis reached on Flores' throwing error and scored from second on Jonny Gomes' RBI single.
Atlanta added on in the third. Jonny Gomes walked, advanced to third on Chris Johnson's double and scored when Flores bobbled Christian Bethancourt's grounder and made a wild throw to first that pulled Michael Cuddyer off the bag.
Flores took the blame for making two bad throws and for not covering second in the eighth when Simmons reached on a two-base fielder's choice.
"It's not a good feeling when your pitcher is making the right pitches, getting groundballs and you're not making any plays," Flores said.
Stults blew the lead in the top of the fourth. Wright hit a two-run homer and Mayberry homered to make it 3-all.
Stults allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk and struck out three in five innings.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese gave up seven hits, two walks and three runs - one earned - and struck out two in five innings.
Mets: With Jenrry Mejia nursing inflammation in the back of his shoulder and Bobby Parnell not expected back until next month from elbow ligament replacement surgery, manager Terry Collins believes RHP Jeurys Familia is ready to seize the closer's role.
"If you're a bullpen guy and you want to be a closer and you get the opportunity, you should run with it because we don't know when they're coming back," Collins said.
Braves: Manager Fredi Gonzalez said LHP Mike Minor is still playing long toss but should be getting close in the next few days to throwing off a mound. Minor is on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Mets: RHP Dillon Gee, making his first start of the season, is 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 14 starts against Atlanta, and he's been even better at Turner Field with a 3-1 record and 2.23 ERA in six starts.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran, coming off a 2-1 win in the opener at Miami on Monday, is 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career games - seven starts- against the Mets.