Kelly Johnson's homer in 11th gives Mets 1-0 win over Braves

ATLANTA -- Kelly Johnson said he had extra "pep" in his step when he got the chance to play against his former team.

Johnson also had extra pep in his swing.

Johnson led off the 11th inning with a pinch-hit homer, sending the New York Mets to a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Johnson pulled a pitch from Dario Alvarez (1-1) into the first row of the right-field seats for his third homer.

Johnson began the year with the Braves before he was traded to the Mets on June 8. Alvarez was claimed off waivers from the Mets in late May.

"You get excited to come in here and play," Johnson said of his return to Turner Field. "Anytime you go against your former team, you have a little extra pep in your step and you want to prove yourself."

Johnson didn't have to prove anything to Braves interim manager Brian Snitker.

"Kelly's a pro. He's been doing this a long time," Snitker said. "That's why people want him and why we wanted him. Because he's a professional hitter and that was a really good at-bat."

The homer was the first extra-base hit of a game that began as a terrific duel between New York right-hander Jacob deGrom and Atlanta ace Julio Teheran. They each threw eight innings.

Addison Reed (2-2) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the Mets, who pulled within two games of NL East-leading Washington.

Jeurys Familia worked the 11th for his majors-leading 26th save in 26 chances. He got Nick Markakis to ground into a double play with runners on first and second to end it.

Teheran extended his career-best string of scoreless innings to 23. He threw a one-hit shutout last Sunday to win in New York, and the Mets were still baffled by him at Turner Field.

"Julio is having a great year," deGrom said. "Watching what he does out there is impressive. That was a tough matchup. I'm just glad I did my part to keep it 0-0."

Teheran gave up five hits, walked none and struck out seven. He recorded 15 consecutive outs before Curtis Granderson singled with two outs in the eighth. After a steal, Teheran struck out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the inning.

DeGrom gave up seven hits and walked one. His streak of winless starts for the Mets reached 10, the longest of his career.

Before the game, the Mets signed Jose Reyes to a minor league deal, sent slumping outfielder Michael Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas and called up outfielder Brandon Nimmo from the minors.

Reyes was released by Colorado after he served a 59-day suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.


A mental mistake cost the Mets a chance in the 10th.

Wilmer Flores led off with a bloop single and Matt Reynolds came in to run. Alejandro De Aza tried to bunt and popped it up, but instead of immediately running to first, he slammed down his bat in frustration.

Reliever Jim Johnson, seeing De Aza lingering down the line, let the ball drop before throwing to second to start a double play. The relay to first beat De Aza's head-first slide.

Mets manager Terry Collins called De Aza's blunder "very surprising."

"The one thing he's known for is how hard he plays," Collins said.


The Braves wore Atlanta Black Crackers uniforms and the Mets wore Brooklyn Royal Giants uniforms as part of MLB's tribute to the Negro Leagues. Former Negro League players, some in wheelchairs, lined the infield for pregame introductions.


Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon has been cleared for Sunday's start in the final game of the four-game series. Colon, 43, threw only four pitches in his last start against Kansas City before being forced to leave the game with a bruised right thumb. He was hurt when he was hit by a line drive.


Mets: Colon (6-3, 3.00 ERA) is 9-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 12 career starts against the Braves.

Braves: RHP Bud Norris (2-7, 4.69 ERA), who has allowed seven earned runs in four starts this month, will make his 10th start of the season.