NEW YORK — Matt Kemp hit a bases-loaded, two-run double with two outs in the 12th inning, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets in Bartolo Colon’s return to Citi Field on Wednesday.
Kemp collected two doubles and a walk before getting the tiebreaking hit off Rafael Montero (0-1). Kemp put the Braves in front one pitch after the Mets opted to intentionally walk Freddie Freeman, lining a double down the left field line.
Four Atlanta relievers combined on six scoreless innings after Colon allowed one run and two hits in a crisp six innings. Jim Johnson (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and ended the game by striking out Lucas Duda with a runner on first.
Colon threw 80 pitches during a festive return to Citi Field after he spent the previous three seasons with the Mets, who did not re-sign him in the offseason.
As Colon warmed up before his 501st career start, the Mets gave him a two-minute video tribute. The colorful right-hander received a standing ovation before striking out in the third, and heard more cheers for a groundout in the sixth when Colon carried his bat with him while running it out.
New York’s Jacob deGrom slightly edged Colon’s effectiveness, allowing two hits in six scoreless innings. He threw 95 pitches in his first start Sept. 1
Colon’s one mistake was a 2-2 fastball to Jay Bruce that turned into a leadoff home run off the top of the right-center field wall in the fifth.
Bruce, however, was involved in helping the Braves score the tying run in the seventh off Hansel Robles. Atlanta had first and third when Adonis Garcia lifted a fly ball to right field and the ball went over Bruce’s outstretched glove, allowing Nick Markakis to easily score the tying run.
NOTES: Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he is optimistic RHP Seth Lugo (partially torn UCL) will not need surgery. Alderson also said he is unsure if pitching in the World Baseball Classic caused Lugo’s injury. … Braves manager Brian Snitker said he talked to C Tyler Flowers about his positioning of standing behind the plate on the relay throw from CF Ender Inciarte during New York’s six-run seventh on Monday. … Atlanta RHP Mauricio Cabrera (sore elbow) is slated to throw a bullpen session Monday and could start a short rehab assignment if the bullpen session goes well. … Mets CF Juan Lagares (left oblique) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday. … The Mets signed OF Desmond Jennings to a minor league contract. Jennings, who was in spring training with the Cincinnati Reds, will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.