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Braves edge Mets in 12 innings for first win of 2017

Matt Kemp’s two-RBI double in the top of the 12th helped lead the Braves to a 3-1 victory over the Mets

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last season it took ten games for the Braves to find their way into the win column.

In 2017, it took only two.

In the top of the 12th inning with two outs and the bases loaded in a 1-1 game, Matt Kemp doubled to left to drive in a pair of runs and give the Braves a 3-1 lead over the Mets.

Braves reliever Jim Johnson closed the door on New York in the bottom of the 12th, allowing a two-out single to Jay Bruce before striking out Lucas Duda to record his first win of the season.

Bartolo Colon has been hyped up by both the Braves and their fan base since the iconic 43-year old pitcher signed a one-year, $12.5 million deal with Atlanta in November. In his first regular season start with the Braves, Colon did not disappoint.

Colon and Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom finished with nearly identical final lines as both allowed two hits while striking out six batters and walking one over six innings pitched.

The difference, however, was that one of the two hits surrendered by Colon was a solo home run while deGrom gave up a pair of base hits, neither of which amounted to runs.

Kemp was 3-for-5 with three doubles, bringing his season total to four. Freeman, who has been notoriously successful at Citi Field throughout his career, was held hitless as he went 0-for-5 with a drawn walk.

Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo shot to right field on a 2-2 count, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.

With one away in the top of the seventh inning, Nick Markakis legged out a triple on a hit to right field. Brandon Phillips then drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out before Adonis Garcia doubled to deep right field to drive in Markakis and tie the game at 1-1. On the ensuing at-bat, Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch to load the bases with only one out recorded.

The Braves, however, were unable to capitalize as Emilio Bonifacio struck out swinging in a pinch-hit appearance and Ender Inciarte grounded out to strand the bases loaded. The score remained tied at 1-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning.

Braves reliever Ian Krol, who gave up three earned runs while recording just one out in Monday’s loss, bounced back well on Wednesday as he pitched a perfect seventh inning. Krol used a pair out fly outs and a strikeout to retire the 4-5-6 hitters in New York’s lineup.

Kemp notched a two-out double in the top of the eighth, but an intentional walk of Nick Markakis follow by a strikeout of Phillips ended the frame.

Reliever Arodys Vizcaino had a solid outing himself when he took over in the eighth. He faced four batters and allowed just one hit in one inning pitched. Jose Ramirez relieved Vizcaino in the ninth inning, issuing a leadoff walk to Asdrubal Cabrera before inducing a double play and a fly out to force extra innings. Ramirez found himself in a jam in the bottom of the 10th with runners on first and second and one out, but he recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Travis d’Arnaud and Ty Kelly to get out of the inning.

The Braves threatened to take the lead with runners on the corners in the top of the 11th inning, but Mets reliever Rafael Montero forced Garcia to ground into an inning ending double play to keep the game deadlocked at 1-1.

Johnson pitched a perfect 11th inning by striking out Jose Reyes and Cabrera before getting Yoenis Cespedes to ground out to send the game to the 12th.

Atlanta will close out the series against the Mets Thursday night. Jaime Garcia is tabbed to make his regular season debut for the Braves while going up against Matt Harvey at 7:10 PM ET.

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