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Mets 4, Braves 3, 1st game; Mets 6, Braves 1, 2nd game

June 19th, 2013 - By Steve James

Beaten twice in one day and just plain

beat, the first-place Atlanta Braves were ready for some rest.

At least they’re done facing two of baseball top

young pitchers in this series.

Matt Harvey struck out a career-high 13 and didn’t

give up a hit until the seventh inning in New York’s 4-3 victory

Tuesday, then Zack Wheeler pitched six scoreless innings in the

nightcap for a 6-1 win in his major league debut that completed the

Mets’ doubleheader sweep.

“It’s just been a rough last 24 hours,” B.J. Upton said.

The teams actually played three games in less than a

24-hour period. The series opener Monday was delayed nearly four

hours by rain, before the Braves pulled out a 2-1 victory at 1:22

a.m. on Freddie Freeman’s two-run homer in the ninth.

Not even 12 hours later, the teams returned to the

ballpark for the start of a day-night doubleheader. The Mets

certainly looked like the fresher team, no doubt because of those

two former first-round picks who are the cornerstones of New York’s

rebuilding efforts.

“It’s a little exhausting,” Atlanta’s Andrelton

Simmons said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

The Braves were helpless against Harvey (6-1) for

much of the day. He pitched six hitless innings and had a

career-high 13 strikeouts. John Buck homered for the Mets, who

built a 4-0 lead.

Atlanta knocked out Harvey with a three-run eighth

before the rally fizzled. Bobby Parnell struck out Chris Johnson

with the bases loaded to end the threat, and then shut down the

Braves in the ninth for his 10th save.

“Matt pitched a great game, but we battled,” Dan

Uggla said. “Even though we were down 4-0, we still felt like we

had a chance, especially at home. We’ve had a lot of magic at home

this year.”

There was nothing magical about the nightcap for the

Braves.

New York broke it open with a four-run eighth against

Anthony Varvaro, taking advantage of some shaky defense. The Braves

made two errors on one play when Varvaro’s pickoff throw to second

base was low, skidding into center field, and Upton let it slide

under his glove while racing in to back up the play. Marlon Byrd

came all the way around to score by the time Upton retrieved the

ball.

Juan Lagares added an RBI single and Omar Quintanilla

finished off the Braves with a two-run hit.

It was a bruising day for the older Upton. In the

fifth, he collided with brother Justin after catching a fly ball to

left-center. Both were knocked to the ground but weren’t hurt. B.J.

gave his sibling a playful shove on their way back to the dugout.