Ike Davis gets big hit as Mets beat Braves
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What Ike Davis accomplished Tuesday night was hardly superhuman. Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen hung a two-strike curveball, and in a big spot in the Mets' eventual 4-1 victory, Davis ripped a run-scoring double off the rightfield fence.
In a typical season, it would have registered as just one of several key hits that the Mets used to support starter Carlos Torres, who steadied himself to hold the Braves to just one run in six innings.
But this season has been anything but typical for Davis, who finds himself as a .178 hitter trying to reassert himself as the Mets' everyday first baseman, all while enduring mixed results since his return from his demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.
"It definitely felt great, to get a hit off a curveball . . . and to get the winning run across the plate," Davis said. "And to drive a ball. I haven't driven a ball in a while."
Davis' double ignited a three-run sixth inning for the Mets, who bounced back from perhaps one of the season's most bitter defeats. And one night after blowing a 1-0 lead in what became a wrenching loss, closer Bobby Parnell nailed down his 19th save with a 1-2-3 inning.
Meanwhile, Torres earned his first victory since Sept. 25, 2012, with the Rockies, and his first win as a starter since Sept. 3, 2009. The righthander survived an Andrelton Simmons' leadoff homer to continue his string of effective outings.
He also got some help from centerfielder Juan Lagares, whose strong throw to home plate in the first inning cut down Jason Heyward, who was trying to score from second.
"I really wasn't sharp," said Torres, who nonetheless delivered his second consecutive solid start, upping his record to 1-1 with a 0.94 ERA after initially working out of the bullpen.
Torres even helped his own cause with the bat in the third inning, bouncing a game-tying RBI single through a drawn-in infield in the third inning to score Lagares, who had led off with a double. Only later did the Mets turn a 1-1 tie into a three-run lead.
In the second inning, Davis drew the ire of fans. Twice, he tried and failed to bunt his way on against the Braves' radical shift. His first attempt landed well foul of the third-base line and his second try rolled to the right of the pitcher Medlen (6-10), who threw to first for the out.
"I'm going to do it more often," said Davis, who hit 32 homers last season. "I get out a lot, anyway, so I might as well give it a try. If I get it in the right spot, it's a hit."
The boos flooded Citi Field again in the fourth inning when he struck out.
But with runners on the corners and one out in the sixth, Davis put the Mets ahead for good, driving an RBI double off the base of the rightfield fence. John Buck lined another run-scoring hit to chase Medlen. Lagares gave the Mets a three-run lead with his sacrifice fly off reliever David Carpenter.
Davis finished 1-for-4. He's hitting .256 with just two extra-base hits since rejoining the Mets on July 5. He'll have to do more to convince the Mets that he should face lefties again, especially with Josh Satin swinging a hot bat.
But for Davis, it was progress. "These are all confidence-building things," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The more confidence he gets, the more dangerous he becomes."