Tejada saves Mejia, Mets with 11th-inning single for 4-3 win over Braves

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News Ruben Tejada (r.) is mobbed by teammates after his game-winning single delivers the Mets to a win over the Braves at Citi Field Monday night.

It felt like deja vu all over again. There was the sinking feeling, the helplessness and then there was a little anger. For the second time in a week the Mets blew a lead in the eighth inning to the Braves, but Monday night they battled back for a 4-3 win in the 11th inning at Citi Field.

“We needed it bad,” Terry Collins said. “It was very similar to the game in Atlanta, the one we had a chance to win down there. It was a big game for us to get out and start the series with. Guys hung in there and battled great.”

Ruben Tejada lined a two-out single into center field in the bottom of the 11th for his fourth career walk-off hit, his second this season.

The Mets (40-49) won their second straight and third in four games and pulled within nine games of the NL East-leading Braves (49-40). It was the Mets’ fifth walk-off win this season, the first since May 11, when Tejada also drove in the winning run.

Tejada’s game-winning single was the Mets’ only hit with runners in scoring position all night; they went 1-for-6 in that situation and stranded eight. The Mets had held a 2-0 lead on Travis d’Arnaud’s RBI-double, David Wright’s third-inning home run and Daisuke Matsuzaka’s seven shutout innings.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News Tejada flips off his helmet on his way to first base.

In the eighth Freddie, Freeman led off with a double off Vic Black and later scored on Josh Edgin’s wild pitch. Jason Heyward then singled off Edgin, the first time this season the left-handed reliever had not retired the first batter he faced. The Braves’ right fielder scored when Chris Johnson doubled off the wall in center off Jenrry Mejia, tying the game at 2-2. It was the second blown save for Mejia.

The Braves took the lead on Christian Bethancourt’s soft line drive to right field. Eric Campbell cut the throw off from Curtis Granderson and instead of relaying to home, where there was a small chance of catching Johnson, he ran across to get Tommy La Stella heading to third.

Last Monday night, in Atlanta, the Mets blew the game by allowing four runs on three errors in the eighth inning for what might have been their worst loss of the season.

“Yeah, that happened because before, they stay fighting all game,” Tejada said of the loss to the Braves a week before. “So we have to keep the same way, keep working hard, try stay a little bit down and wait for our chance.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiAndrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News Curtis Granderson’s eighth-inning solo home run gives the Mets a 2-0 lead.

Granderson gave them a chance when he homered to right field on a 3-2 pitch from Luis Avilan with two outs in the eighth, tying the game 3-3. Despite a controversial but favorable video review that put runners on first and second with nobody out, the Mets were unable to push across the winning run in the ninth.They left three on and went into extra innings for the 13th time this season.

“Especially the way the eighth inning turned out, we can’t lose another game like this to those guys,” Collins said he was thinking as the game crept along on Monday night.

Tejada, who had two line-drive singles in the Mets’ win over the Rangers on Sunday, said he has been getting more comfortable at the plate after making a few mechanical changes.

“When Ruben is swinging good he doesn’t hit in the air, he hits line drive and ground balls — not hitting fly balls, not that he doesn’t have any power, but he is much more effective when he works the middle of the field,” Collins said. “He’s done a nice job.

On a three-game hitting streak, Tejada came up with Juan Lagares on third base and Lucas Duda, intentionally walked two batters earlier, on first in the 11th — looking to just line a single to the middle of the field.

“It’s helped a lot, I just stay with same aproach and I am capable of keeping the swing the same

way,” Tejada said. “I am just

trying to stay positive and keep working.

“It feels pretty good,” Tejada added. “We tied the game in the (eighth) inning, played a couple more innings, we stayed fighting, we stayed all together. It’s a good win.” 

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