ATLANTA (AP) - Francisco Rodriguez took responsibility for the blown save that led to D.J. Carrasco's game-ending balk in the 10th inning.
``Three pitches, it's a tie ballgame,' Rodriguez said. ``There's no excuses. I didn't execute and it cost us the game.'
The Braves tied it against K-Rod, handing him his first blown save since April 2, then beat the Mets 9-8 when Carrasco balked in the 10th inning.
Rodriguez, who was pitching in his third straight game of the series, wouldn't blame his rare blown save on his lack of rest.
Diory Hernandez doubled with two outs in the 10th and took third after first baseman Lucas Duda mishandled Jordan Schafer's grounder.
With Jason Heyward at the plate, Carrasco (0-2) clearly stopped and then restarted his motion as he prepared to deliver a pitch. Plate umpire James Hoye called the balk as Heyward celebrated at the plate.
Heyward said he recognized the balk immediately.
``(Carrasco) went to set and then he tried to go back and get another sign ... without stepping off,' Heyward said.
Even Carrasco couldn't argue.
``Yeah, as soon as he said it, it made sense,' Carrasco said.
``Not too many things get to me, but to lose a game like that, that's hard to swallow. You've got to let somebody at least hit the ball or do something else with it other than just balk in the winning run, so this is going to be a tough night for me.'
Carrasco said he was worried he didn't see catcher Ronny Paulino's sign for a cutter and didn't want to cross up Paulino with Hernandez on third. When Paulino flashed the sign again, Carrasco paused before restarting his motion.
``I saw it,' said Mets manager Terry Collins when asked if there was any question about the balk call.
New York (34-35) had a chance to go above .500 for the first time since April 6. Instead, the Braves got their 13th final at-bat victory of the season.
The Mets won two of three in the series and finished a 6-4 road trip.
``We've got to take the positives and go with it,' Collins said. ``It was a tough game to lose. We played our butts off to get back in the game.'
Chipper Jones had three hits, including a three-run homer, and matched his career high with five RBIs before leaving the game with a strained adductor muscle in his right leg. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jones' status is day to day.
Scott Linebrink (3-1) pitched the 10th inning before the Braves put pressure on in the bottom half, keeping the Mets from their first three-game sweep in Atlanta since Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2007.
The Mets trailed 6-2 before pulling even on Scott Hairston's tying, three-run homer off Scott Proctor in the fifth. New York took the lead off Jonny Venters in the seventh.
Venters gave up singles to Beltran and Jason Bay before walking Ronny Paulino to load the bases. Venters struck out Hairston on a wild pitch that skipped past catcher Brian McCann, allowing Beltran to score the go-ahead run.
Two Atlanta errors helped the Mets add to the lead off Venters in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter Angel Pagan reached on Jones' throwing error and scored from second on second baseman Dan Uggla's throwing error to first. Jones fielded Beltran's grounder and threw to Uggla at second to start a potential double play. Justin Turner's hard slide led to Uggla's wild throw to first, allowing Pagan to score.
Mets starter R.A. Dickey gave up six runs in four innings.
Jones hit a three-run homer off Dickey in the third. Heyward and Jones had run-scoring singles in the fourth to give Atlanta a 6-2 lead.
Braves rookie left-hander Mike Minor's control problems helped him blow the lead in the Mets' four-run fifth. Minor walked Turner and Beltran to open the inning before giving up Jason Bay's run-scoring single with one out before Proctor came on.
Minor gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings.
NOTES: It was the first win on a balk since May 31, 2010, when Esmerling Vasquez of Arizona was called for one that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-4 win. ... Conrad's homer was his sixth as a pinch-hitter in his career and his second of the season. ... Braves RHP Tommy Hanson was scratched from Friday's scheduled start against Texas due to tendinitis in his right shoulder. RHP Randall Delgado will be recalled from Double-A Mississippi to make his major league debut. ... Atlanta RHP Brandon Beachy gave up one run on four hits in five innings for Triple-A Gwinnett in his first of two scheduled rehab starts as he recovers from a strained left oblique.
The Associated Press News Service
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