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Bullpen fails in 8th and 9th as Braves come back on Mets

Jeurys Familia allowed two runs in the ninth after AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins gave up two in the eighth in Atlanta.

The Mets' Jacob deGrom pitches against the Braves

The Mets' Jacob deGrom pitches against the Braves during the fifth inning on Saturday in Atlanta. Photo Credit: AP / John Amis

ATLANTA — After the Mets’ bullpen blew it, AJ Ramos stood in front of his locker and calmly but firmly proclaimed that everything would be OK.

“This is baseball,” he said. “We’re going to lose some games. We might pitch like this again.”

That was Monday. And Ramos was right. The bullpen melted down again Saturday night at SunTrust Park in a 4-3 walk-off loss to the Braves.

Ramos and Jerry Blevins combined to allow two runs in the eighth before Jeurys Familia, looking for a four-out save, allowed two more in the ninth as the Mets dropped their fourth game out of six this week.

Ramos, who appeared in his majors-leading 13th game, walked two batters, bringing his season total to nine in nine innings. Blevins (12 games), who gave up a two-run double by Freddie Freeman, has allowed 10 of the 20 batters he has faced this year to reach base. Familia (12 games), called on in the eighth inning for the fourth time this season, blew his second save of the week (and season).

The Mets (14-6) lost in similar fashion to the Nationals on Monday night, when five relievers allowed five runs and recorded five outs. They downplayed the idea that such frequent use of their back-end arms — who have pitched a lot out of necessity, given the many close games and wins — played a role in this one.

“As we go on, it’ll be better. It’s going to be more consistent,” Ramos said. “Right now, it’s been inconsistent with me, but that’s going to change.”

The Braves’ winning rally came quickly. After Familia walked Dansby Swanson on four pitches, Johan Camargo smoked a ground ball that split centerfielder Michael Conforto and rightfielder Jay Bruce and went all the way to the wall for a triple.

“He hit it well and it split us perfectly,” Conforto said. “I definitely could have taken a better route to it. I don’t know if it changes the outcome.”

With runners on first and third and one out, Ender Inciarte ended it with a bunt that got past Familia and drove in Camargo.

“It’s tough to lose like that,” manager Mickey Callaway said.

Said Familia: “It’s a little frustrating for me because [Jacob deGrom] pitched a really good game. We didn’t do the job.”

Yoenis Cespedes went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, a continuation of a slump that has dropped his average to .195. He crushed what initially was ruled a home run in the ninth, but it was foul.

The Mets took the lead with a three-run eighth. Asdrubal Ca bre ra had the biggest hit, a two-run single with the bases loaded that drove in Jose Reyes (3-for-4) and Conforto (1-for-4, walk). Reyes’ hits were his first of the season, snapping an 0-for-20 stretch.

The Mets managed to score only after righthander Julio Teheran came out of the game. He scattered four hits and a walk and struck out six in seven scoreless innings. He has a 2.44 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 21 career games against the Mets.

DeGrom tossed seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks, and struck out 10. Atlanta didn’t get a hit until the fifth. Both free passes came in the second, deGrom’s longest inning at 23 pitches.

It was deGrom’s second consecutive start of at least seven innings with double-digit strikeouts. He also did so Monday, and the bullpen cost him a win.

“Everybody’s out here giving 100 percent, trying to win games. Our guys just didn’t have it tonight,” deGrom said. “Back at them tomorrow. Nobody likes to lose, whether I give up runs or they give up runs. It’s part of it, though.”

New York Sports