Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/14/12

ATLANTA - The Braves and Mets couldn't seem to close the door on each other Saturday, each team giving up the lead almost as soon as it got it. But the Braves got the lead last, winning 8-7 on the strength of a three-run eighth.

Anthony Varvaro (1-0) got the win; Bobby Parnell (2-2) took the loss.

The Mets had increased their lead to 7-5 in the top of the eighth before the Braves scored three in the bottom of the inning, with leadoff hitter Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward delivering RBI singles .

"The top of the order . . . that's a pretty good top six guys here," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We get those guys firing on all cylinders and it's a pretty long lineup you have to try to get yourself through."

R.A. Dickey's only loss this season was a 14-6 drubbing by the Braves in the rain on April 18 in Atlanta when, as he put it then, his knuckleball "wiggled up there but didn't do much more." It was, he said, "like throwing water balloons."

The problem, he insisted then, wasn't the weather; he just didn't execute his pitches. In Saturday's humidity, he yielded five runs in five innings and failed to get his 13th win.

The Braves' Eric Hinske, batting a sad .200 and making only his 21st start of the season - and only his second one in left field - ripped a double to left with the bases loaded in the second inning, scoring two. One batter later, Michael Bourn knocked in a third run on a single to make it 3-1.

The Mets stacked their line-up with left-handed hitters against Tommy Hanson -- five lefties and a switch-hitter. Ike Davis got to him first, leading off the second with a double and scoring on Josh Thole's double two batters later, then leading off the fourth inning with a home run.

The Braves took a momentary 5-3 lead after a brouhaha in bottom of fifth. Jordany Valdespin appeared to catch Heyward's liner to left, doubling Prado off at first. But the umpires reversed the decision after conferring. Replays showed the ball hit the ground before bouncing into Valdespin's glove. Mets manager Terry Collins stormed onto the field and was eventually ejected by third base umpire Dale Scott.

"That's the whole replay thing, which I don't want to get into." Davis said. "But he didn't catch it."

Collins watched the game slip away from the visiting manager's office. "It's hard to watch [that] from anywhere," he said.

Dickey, after getting Chipper Jones to ground out, then gave up a two-run double to Freddie Freeman. He avoided taking the loss when the Mets came back to score three runs in the sixth.

Hanson has a big curve ball, but he also has a momentary halt at the top of his delivery when he reaches back before letting it go, which gives a hitter warning that it's coming. That caught up with him in the sixth inning, when the Mets whacked three consecutive one-out singles to take a 6-5 lead.

The Mets made it 7-5 on Ruben Tejada's RBI single in the eighth before Atlanta's decisive rally.

"It was definitely exciting toward the end of the game," Hanson said. "The guys came up huge, especially our offense.

"It's a good feeling knowing that we never gave up"

Notes: Prado started at shortstop for only the second time in his career. The first time was May 4, 2008, when Tom Glavine was the starting pitcher. . . . C Brian McCann returned from paternity leave and was back in the starting lineup after the birth of his son, Cort, Friday. . . . LHP Jonny Venters (left elbow inflammation) threw a bullpen session. . . . The Braves hope to keep backup SS Jack Wilson (dislocated right little finger) off the disabled list but recalled INF Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A Gwinnett just in case. Pastornicky, the Braves' opening day shortstop, is being recast as a utility man, playing primarily second base and learning to play the outfield. . . . In the fourth inning, the Braves announced a trade with the Reds for SS Paul Janish. He will report to the Braves tomorrow. . . . Collins was impressed with the major league debut of LHP Josh Edgin , who was thrown into the fire to face the heart of the Braves' order in the sixth inning of Friday's game. "That's why he's here," Collins had said before the game. "It's fire time." He gave up a home run to 3B Chipper Jones. . . . RHP Dillon Gee is expected to be discharged from a St. Louis hospital Tuesday or Wednesday. Gee underwent surgery Friday to replace a portion of damaged artery in his right shoulder. There is no timetable for his return.

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