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Duda’s drive, Mets’ rally fall short vs. Braves

Lucas Duda had a couple of chances to be a hero during the Mets’ rally on Saturday night, but New York fell short in a 7-5 loss to the Braves.

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Wheeler looks to deliver strong finish to set with Braves

When the Braves and the Mets meet in Sunday’s series finale, two Georgians take the hill hoping to forget their last outings in their own backyard. David Hale and Zack Wheeler both had season-worst outings in early April at Turner Field.

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Valverde out, Farnsworth in as Mets closer

Kyle Farnsworth will take over as Mets closer, replacing fellow veteran reliever Jose Valverde, manager Terry Collins said before Sunday’s game against the Braves.

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Baseball-Highlights of Saturday’s MLB games (Reuters)

(Adds later games) April 19 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Saturday’s Major League Baseball games: - - Blue Jays 5, Indians 0 Left-hander Mark Buehrle pitched four-hit ball over seven scoreless innings and catcher Dioner Navarro had two hits and three runs batted in to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to victory over the Cleveland Indians. In the first inning right fielder Jose Bautista singled to right, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead and then was driven home by Navarro to make it 2-0. The Blue Jays extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning while the Indians threatened to score in each of the first two innings, but Buehrle pitched out of trouble both times, then settled in to dominate the Cleveland lineup over his last five innings.

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Braves-Mets Preview (The Associated Press)

Freddie Freeman routinely pounds the New York Mets, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down in this series. Freeman looks to continue his success against the Mets and help the surging Atlanta Braves complete a three-game sweep Sunday at Citi Field. Freeman has five hits in this series, connecting for an RBI double on one of his three in Saturday’s 7-5 victory as the Braves (12-5) won for the seventh time in eight tries. Freeman’s success against the NL East rival Mets (8-9) is partly why he ranks third in the majors with a .413 average, while his five homers and 13 RBIs lead the Braves.

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Bartolo Colon swings for the fences and loses his helmet (Big League Stew)

Why did it have to take so long for Bartolo Colon to return to the National League? The last time he played in the league was 2002, but even that stint was unsatisfying as he made only 17 starts for the Montreal Expos before moving back to the AL
In 17 seasons, those were his only NL appearances until he joined the New York Mets this winter. We’ve missed out on so many great years and so many great memories of Bartolo doing what Bartolo does best — entertaining us unintentionally through his awkwardness at the plate.
Oh well, at least we have the here and now, and so far it looks like Colon is prepared to make up for lost time.
Take, for example, his approach on Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves. Colon, who’s swings are ferocious and intense, yet aimless and fruitless, went for the downs on multiple swings against right-hander Ervin Santana. Perhaps he was looking to do like Martin Maldonado of the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night and hit the cover off the baseball — literally . Perhaps he was simply looking for career homer No. 1.
Whatever the case, Santana figured out what Colon was doing after just one pitch. On the second pitch, he threw a beautiful slider at 83 mph and nearly spun Colon into the dirt. Colon was prepared to come out of his cleats as he saw the ball hanging up there, then he literally spun right out of his helmet as it disappeared.

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Colon fights through back ailment; Mejia coming along

Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon, set to start Saturday’s game, has shaken off a back ailment, and Jenrry Mejia, slated for Monday, is recovering from a blister on the middle finger of his right hand.

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