NEW YORK (AP) — Strikeouts at the plate and injuries in the bullpen are about the only two things that have slowed the first-place Atlanta Braves this season.
Both came back to hurt them Sunday night.
Cory Gearrin gave up three runs in the eighth inning, the last two on a tiebreaking single by slumping Ike Davis, and the New York Mets rallied past Atlanta 4-2 to end the Braves' eight-game winning streak.
"You've got to tip your hat a little bit to those guys. They put the bat on the ball and made something happen," said Gearrin, one of several green relievers getting late-inning chances for Atlanta because of injuries to Jonny Venters, Eric O'Flaherty and Jordan Walden.
Shaun Marcum struck out a career-high 12 and Lucas Duda homered for the Mets, who stopped an eight-game slide at home and avoided a three-game sweep. The Braves had won 15 of 18 against New York and five in a row at Citi Field.
Pinch-hitter Justin Turner led off the eighth with a single against Gearrin (1-1). David Wright struck out but Duda punched a ground-rule double to left for his third hit, and John Buck's run-scoring single tied it at 2.
Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Davis, who pulled a two-run single through the right side for a 4-2 Mets lead.
"Just a sinker. He got under it enough and got it out there," said Gearrin, who entered with a 0.86 ERA in 21 innings this season.
Davis began the night batting .148 with nine RBIs. He finished 2 for 3 with a walk after entering in a 2-for-44 slide that included 19 strikeouts. It was his first hit in his last 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"I went up wanting a sacrifice fly and not to ground into a double play," Davis said. "He's a nasty pitcher with sinking movement and I wanted to stay through and hit right through the sinker."
Marcum went seven innings for his longest outing in six starts with the Mets. His only costly mistake came on Dan Uggla's two-run homer in the seventh that put Atlanta ahead 2-1.
The Braves struck out 14 times, including twice against closer Bobby Parnell in the ninth.
Relying on an effective slider and changeup to go with his 85 mph fastball, Marcum cooled off the Atlanta bats with finesse. He struck out B.J. Upton looking to end the seventh, surpassing his previous career high of 11 strikeouts set on June 16, 2007, with Toronto against Washington.
It was the right-hander's fourth career double-digit strikeout game and first since July 20, 2010, with Toronto against Cleveland.
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