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Unable to challenge costly call, Mets lose 7-5 to Braves when late rally falls short

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NEW YORK — After further review, there was nothing the New York Mets could do about the costly call that went against them.

Unable to challenge an incorrect ruling that led to two runs for Atlanta, the Mets lost 7-5 Saturday night when their late rally fell short against Craig Kimbrel and the Braves' bullpen.

Jordan Walden retired Travis d'Arnaud with the bases loaded for the final out after Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled his star closer. Much earlier, however, the Mets caught a tough break.

Atlanta was trailing 1-0 with two outs in the third inning when Freddie Freeman fisted a soft bouncer between the mound and home plate. New York starter Bartolo Colon hardly rushed to pick it up — and then he threw wildly past first base as Freeman hustled down the line.

Two runners scored on Colon's error, and Freeman was credited with an infield single. But replays showed the ball hit Freeman's front foot before bounding onto the grass, so it should have been ruled foul.

"I thought it was a foul ball. That's why I didn't run as quickly to grab it," Colon said through a translator. "I was waiting for the umpire to say that it was a foul ball."

Mets manager Terry Collins could not challenge the call because only batted balls that "first land at or beyond the set positions of the first or third base umpire" are subject to video review for fair or foul, according to baseball's replay rules. Since the ball rolled right in front of the plate, New York had no recourse.

"Nobody saw it and you can't challenge it," Collins said. "You have to understand that this is a whole work in progress. That's been the motive since it all started, that there's going to be a lot of things that are going to happen this summer because of the new rules, that they'll make changes."

Too late for the Mets in this case, though.

"I think that should be reviewable. We're reviewing all the other plays, why not that one?" Colon said.

PHOTO: New York Mets' Curtis Granderson reacts after striking out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, April 19, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets' Curtis Granderson reacts after striking out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, April 19, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

After trailing by three runs in the eighth and four in the ninth, New York had chances to complete the comeback.

Cleanup hitter Curtis Granderson, however, went 0 for 5 with a strikeout and stranded six. He popped up with runners at the corners and none out in the eighth, then struck out with runners at second and third in the ninth.

"He's not squaring much up right now. We might have to do something to get him out of that spot," Collins said.

Ervin Santana pitched seven crisp innings for his second win over New York in three starts with Atlanta. Santana (2-0) allowed one run and struck out seven, improving to 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.

Justin Upton hit a three-run homer in the ninth to make it 7-3. That became crucial when the Mets rallied against Kimbrel, who hadn't pitched in a week due to shoulder discomfort.

Walden got d'Arnaud on a grounder to secure his first save of the season and Atlanta's seventh victory in eight games. Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons was shaded toward the hole and made a strong throw to get d'Arnaud.

"I was ready. I'm always ready," Walden said.

David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Chris Young all had three hits for the Mets, held to one by Aaron Harang and two relievers in the series opener Friday night.

Colon (1-3) gave up three runs in seven innings. There was some question about whether a bad back would prevent him from pitching after he was hit hard in a 14-2 loss to the Angels on Sunday.

Young cut it to 4-2 with an RBI single in the eighth off David Carpenter. Lucas Duda made a bid for a three-run homer with a long drive that was caught on the warning track in right field.

"I thought it was a home run," Collins said. "I thought he hit that ball good."

NOTES: Young doubled in the fourth for his first hit with the Mets. ... Eric Young Jr. has 10 stolen bases this season, six against the Braves. He was thrown out by C Evan Gattis on a pitchout in the third. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka's season debut for the Mets was his second career relief appearance. The other one came on May 4, 2011, with Boston against the Angels. ... Mets RHP Zack Wheeler faces his hometown team again in the series finale Sunday. ... RHP Jenrry Mejia (blister) threw a side session and is on track to start Monday night against St. Louis. ... Former Mets ace Dwight Gooden threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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PHOTO: New York Mets' Bartolo Colon delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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