ATLANTA — A pivotal play at the plate gave the Atlanta Braves the lead and gave the New York Mets a new injury concern.
Andrelton Simmons got four hits for the Braves in a 6-4 win June 20 over the Mets 6-4, who lost their fourth in a row and catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a banged-up elbow.
A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta’s 38-year-old catcher, tripled, doubled and singled. He scored standing up on Pedro Ciriaco’s tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and his left leg appeared to hit d’Arnaud’s left arm. The Mets said d’Arnaud, who left the game, is day to day with a hyperextended left elbow.
D’Arnaud, who homered and hit a two-run single earlier in the game, returned 10 days earlier from the disabled list after missing seven weeks with a broken right hand.
“We’ll probably have him tomorrow if we need him,” said Mets Manager Terry Collins, who was grateful the injury was not more serious.
“I thought he could have dislocated his shoulder,” he said. “The hyperextended elbow, I know it hurts but we’ve got tape. Those things you can take care of.”
D’Arnaud said he was relieved he won’t be returning to the disabled list.
“A lot of negative thoughts were going through my head,” d’Arnaud said. “I’m just very fortunate that it’s not as serious as I was thinking.”
Simmons, who has six hits in the first two games of the series, was impressed by Pierzynski’s busy night.
“He felt fast today,” said Simmons of Pierzynski. “He didn’t want to stop running. Stretching a double, going home from third on a shallow flyball, he did it all.”
Williams Perez (4-0) allowed four runs on five hits in six innings. He improved after giving up two runs in the first, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “he wasn’t the same Perez. He was erratic.”
Jason Grilli pitched around Wilmer Flores’ two-out single in the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
Jack Leathersich (0-1) lost in relief.
Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard struggled again on the road, allowing four runs in four innings. He has a 6.52 ERA in four starts away from Citi Field.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead on d’Arnaud’s bases-loaded single.
Pierzynski tripled into the right-field corner and scored on Simmons’ single in the second.
Jace Peterson walked to lead off the third. He stole, and advanced to third when no one covered second base for d’Arnaud’s throw, which sailed into center field. Peterson scored on a groundout by Cameron Maybin.
(CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer)