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Mets Vs. Braves Final Score: Balk By D.J. Carrasco Gives Atlanta Extra Innings Win

It was only fitting that in a game that saw a little bit of everything be decided by a balk in extra innings. Mets reliever D.J. Carrasco balked home the winning run in the bottom of the tenth giving Atlanta a 9-8 extra innings victory. Atlanta wouldn't have even made it to the tenth inning without some Brooks Conrad heroics in the ninth. It was Conrad's two run pinch hit homer in the ninth off of Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez that tied the game and sent it into extra innings. 

The Braves jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind the bats of Jordan Schafer, Jason Heyward, and Chipper Jones. Shafer went 5 for 6 in the game raising his average to .256 on the season. Heyward went 2 for 5 and Jones was 3 for 4 with a homer and five RBI's. Chipper left the game late injuring himself when going first to third on a Brian McCann single in the seventh. 

Things began to unravel for Atlanta starter Mike Minor in the fifth inning. Leading 6-2, Minor walked Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran to start the inning. Minor then got Daniel Murphy to fly out, but Jason Bay followed with an RBI single to right that scored Turner making the score 6-3. Scott Proctor replaced Minor and quickly struck out Ronny Paulino. With two on and Scott Hairston at the plate, Proctor left a fastball up and out over the plate that Hairston hit into the left field stands tying the game at 6-6.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when the Mets loaded the bases against Atlanta reliever Jonny Venters. Scott Hairston struck out swinging but the ball got away from Brian McCann allowing Hairston to reach first base and Carlos Beltran to score from third giving New York a 7-6 lead. 

New York added an another insurance run in the eighth when Angel Pagan scored on a Dan Uggla throwing error as Atlanta was attempting a double play on a Carlos Beltran grounder. 

The Braves wouldn't strike again until the Conrad homer in the ninth tied things up. Scott Linebrink pitched a scoreless tenth for Atlanta setting up a peculiar bottom half for the Braves. Eric Hinske walked to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Joe Mather. Alex Gonzalez then failed to advance Mather to second by popping up two bunt attempts. With two strikes, Gonzalez swung away and grounded the ball back up the middle that the Mets turned into a 4-6-3 double play. It looked like another golden opportunity had vanished for the Braves offense. 

With two outs and the bases empty, Diory Hernandez lined a double down the right field line that would have scored Mather had Gonzalez been able to advance him. Jordan Schafer then followed with an infield single that first baseman Lucas Duda couldn't handle giving the Braves runners at the corners. Jason Heyward then stepped to the box with a chance to be the hero. However, Heyward didn't get the opportunity as Mets pitcher D.J. Carrasco hesitated as he started his move to the stretch resulting in a balk call that scored Hernandez and gave Atlanta a 9-8 win. 

Scott Linebrink gets his third win of the season with a scoreless tenth inning. Carrasco takes the loss and is now 0-2. 

Neither starting pitcher was around long in this game. New York's R.A. Dickey allowed six hits and six runs in just four innings of work. Mike Minor allowed seven hits and five runs in just 4.1 innings. 

With the win, Atlanta salvages one game in the series and now prepare to open their first interleague match up of the season with the Texas Rangers on Friday at Turner Field. 

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.