NEW YORK (AP) - The dash around the bases, that excited Jose Reyes and a large cluster of fans who specially gathered to support him. The grounder that skipped under his glove and another late loss at Citi Field, that left the crowd in a most foul mood.
Reyes' two-out miscue in the eighth inning let Atlanta tie it and Eric Hinske hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth that sent the Braves over the New York Mets 6-3 Friday night.
The Mets set a dubious major league record: Their last six home losses all have come after they led in the seventh inning. A day earlier, they pulled off their biggest comeback in 11 years when they rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat Pittsburgh.
``They're aware of exactly what's going on,' Mets manager Terry Collins said about his players. ``They talked about it.'
``We've got to continue to work together, we've got to continue to work through these and add on some runs and try not to let it happen,' he said. ``As I told Jose, 'If there's anybody I want that ball hit to, it would be him, so, hang with it.''
After the game, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson delivered more sobering news: Star third baseman David Wright won't be able to do any baseball activities for three weeks because of a stress fracture in his back.
Wright hurt himself making a diving tag on April 19 and the injury was revealed on May 19. At the time, the Mets weren't even sure he'd need to go on the disabled list.
``I was a little surprised by the result,' Alderson said. ``But I think the doctor felt, and rightly so, that this is something that needs time to heal.'
``There has to be some baseball activity following the clearance, so you're talking about potentially, the early part of July,' he said.
Booed as always, old Mets nemesis Chipper Jones began the Braves' comeback from a 3-1 deficit with a leadoff home run in the eighth. Later in the inning, the error by shortstop Reyes let the tying run score.
``They've always provided me incentive to try to make left turns at first base instead of right,' Jones said of the New York crowds.
The long, long drive to left field was the 441st career homer for Jones. The drive apparently impressed Mets catcher Josh Thole, too.
``That's the first time I've ever hit a home run where I heard the catcher say, 'Oh my God!' when I hit it,' Jones said.
Hinske came into the game in the fifth inning after Atlanta rookie Jordan Schafer fouled a ball off his face. Schafer wobbled off the field and headed to a hospital for X-rays. There was no report on the severity of his injury after the game.
Hinske was sent up to finish the at-bat. He struck out, but later hit a one-out solo homer in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez.
Earlier, about 800 fans met on a pedestrian bridge beyond the right-center field wall to cheer Reyes and urge Mets management to not trade the All-Star, who can become a free agent after the season.
Reyes hit his major league-leading ninth triple before the fan rally and singled later. He pointed to the group and waved during the fifth-inning gathering, organized over a website and Facebook.
``They want me here,' Reyes said.
The fans wore shirts that said ``Don't Trade Reyes' and chanted for him.
``I'm here to show the ownership of the Mets what the fans want: the most exciting player the Mets have ever had,' fan Tony Rivera said. ``I don't want to see him leave, but I think he's gone. But at least we have a voice.'
Rookie Freddie Freeman had three hits. His two-run double in the ninth gave the Braves extra insurance.
Craig Kimbrel closed for his 17th save in 21 tries. His save total is the highest for an NL rookie before the All-Star break, snapping the mark Yhency Brazoban set for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005. Boston's Jonathan Papelbon holds the big league record in this category with 26 in 2006.
Jonny Venters (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Rodriguez (1-2) was hit hard in the ninth.
Jason Isringhausen relieved with two outs in the eighth and walked slumping Dan Uggla. After a wild pitch, Alex Gonzalez hit a grounder that skipped past Reyes for the tying run.
``No excuses,' Reyes said.
Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan hit RBI singles off Atlanta's Derek Lowe in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
NOTES: Reyes has scored a run in seven straight games. ... Jason Bay is 0 for 17 lifetime against Lowe after going hitless in two at_bats with a walk.
The Associated Press News Service
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