Duda, Wright Hit HRs, Mets Beat Braves 4-2
NEW YORK (AP) — Lucas Duda homered twice and became the first player to take advantage of the pulled-in fences at Citi Field, leading R.A. Dickey and the New York Mets over the Atlanta Braves 4-2 Saturday.
David Wright kept hitting with a homer and two singles as the Mets improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2009. Coming off a down year and injury-interrupted spring training, the All-Star had two hits and drove in the only run in Thursday’s opener against Atlanta.
Josh Thole lined a go-ahead single with two outs in the fifth inning off well-traveled Livan Hernandez, making his first regular-season relief appearance since his major league debut in 1996.
Martin Prado hit a two-run homer for Atlanta. His shot in the fifth ended the Braves’ longest season-opening shutout streak since 1980 — this is their first 0-2 start in four years.
With hot dog wrappers blowing around the field, Duda launched a drive to right-center field in the fourth. The ball flew over the new fence, yet several feet in front of where the old wall still stands.
Duda hit another solo shot run in the seventh off Chad Durbin, a drive to right that would’ve been a home run in any year. Wright’s homer in the first was an opposite-field shot to right-center.
Dickey (1-0) kept the Braves off-balance with his knuckler for six innings, allowing five hits and working around four walks.
Dickey drew attention this spring with his revealing biography, a book in which he wrote about being sexually abused as a boy. He returned the focus to the field with his pitching, plus an alert play at the plate.
Michael Bourn led off the game with a double and later tried to score from third when a pitch skittered away from Thole. But the catcher pounced on it and threw a fastball to Dickey, who tagged out the three-time NL stolen base champ.
Frank Francisco, the fourth Mets pitcher, earned his second save. Wright helped with a nifty catch in foul ground down the third-base line, then Francisco struck out pinch-hitter Matt Diaz with two runners on to end it.
Jair Jurrjens (0-1) gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings. He made the All-Star game last year, but won just one of his final seven starts and didn’t pitch in September because of an injured right knee.
NOTES: Braves 3B Chipper Jones (left knee) felt fine after an off-day workout Friday at Citi Field. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and manager Fredi Gonzalez said it’s possible he might play that night at Houston. If not, Gonzalez said Jones “definitely” would be ready for Atlanta’s home opener Friday vs. Milwaukee. … Braves RHP Tommy Hanson will pitch on regular rest Tuesday. Gonzalez had considered giving him an extra day to rest. … Mets CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out on three pitches in his first major league at-bat, then beat out an infield single his next time up. He was promoted from Triple-A after OF Andres Torres re-injured his left calf in the opener. Mets manager Terry Collins said Nieuwenhuis and Scott Hairston would each see time in center. … Braves 2B Dan Uggla went 0 for 2 against Dickey, leaving him 0 for 23 vs. the knuckleballer.
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