NEW YORK — Ike Davis busted out of his prolonged slump with a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the New York Mets rallied past the Atlanta Braves, 4-2, on Sunday night to end an eight-game losing streak at home.
Shaun Marcum struck out a career-high 12 and Lucas Duda homered for the Mets, who stopped Atlanta’s eight-game winning streak and avoided a three-game sweep. The Braves had won 15 of 18 against New York and five in a row at Citi Field.
Pinch-hitter Justin Turner led off the eighth with a single against Cory Gearrin (1-1). David Wright struck out but Duda punched a ground-rule double to left and John Buck’s run-scoring single tied it at 2.
Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Davis, who pulled a two-run single through the right side for a 4-2 Mets lead.
Davis began the night batting .148 with nine RBIs. He finished 2 for 3 with a walk after entering in a 2-for-44 slide that included 19 strikeouts. It was his first hit in his last 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Before the game, general manager Sandy Alderson said there was no deadline for a decision on whether to send Davis to the minors.
LaTroy Hawkins (1-0) worked a scoreless inning and Bobby Parnell struck out two in the ninth for his seventh save. It was a spirited and heartening win for the Mets heading into their Subway Series against the crosstown rival New York Yankees beginning tonight.
Marcum went seven innings for his longest outing in six starts with the Mets. His only costly mistake came on Dan Uggla’s two-run homer in the seventh that put Atlanta ahead 2-1.
Justin Upton beat out an infield single to start the inning, a play that should have been made with more urgency by shortstop Ruben Tejada.
One out later, Uggla got a hanging slider and sent it soaring into the second deck in left field for his 10th home run. He also hit a clutch homer and an RBI single in the 10th inning to help Atlanta win the series opener.
Duda hit a leadoff shot to right off Julio Teheran in the fourth, giving him nine home runs and 16 RBIs this season. It also extended Duda’s career-best hitting streak to 10 games.
Marcum allowed a leadoff single in the first to Andrelton Simmons, quickly erased on a hard-hit double play, and didn’t permit another hit until the sixth. The only baserunner the Braves managed during that stretch came when Uggla was hit by a pitch in the second.
After that, Marcum retired 13 straight batters before Simmons reached down and floated a flare over shortstop with two outs in the sixth. Hustling all the way out of the box, Simmons legged it out for a double. He was stranded when Jason Heyward took a called third strike.
Relying on an effective slider and changeup to go with his 85 mph fastball, Marcum cooled off the Atlanta bats with finesse. He struck out slumping B.J. Upton looking to end the seventh, surpassing his previous career high of 11 strikeouts set on June 16, 2007, with Toronto against Washington.
It was the right-hander’s fourth career double-digit strikeout game and first since July 20, 2010, with Toronto against Cleveland.
Freeman fanned four times and B.J. Upton three for the Braves, who lead the NL in strikeouts.
Uggla dropped a popup for an error in the first when the second baseman tried to make a one-handed catch and the ball popped out of his glove.
NOTES: Gerald Laird caught Teheran, as usual. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Brian McCann and Evan Gattis will each catch one game and DH the other during a two-game series in Toronto that begins Monday night. RHP Tim Hudson (4-3, 4.98 ERA) pitches against Blue Jays LHP Mark Buehrle (1-3, 5.90) in the opener. ... RHP Jordan Walden (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen before the game and was expected to start a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Gwinnett. ... RHP Brandon Beachy, on the mend from Tommy John surgery in June 2012, is slated to make his next minor league rehab start Wednesday. ... Mets reliever Scott Atchison (right elbow inflammation) could be ready to come off the disabled list after one more minor league rehab outing, manager Terry Collins said. Atchison is eligible to return Wednesday. ... The Mets play the AL East-leading Yankees four straight times beginning Monday night, with the first two games at Citi Field and the next two in the Bronx. LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.80) starts the opener for the Mets against RHP Phil Hughes (2-3, 5.51). ... The Mets donated more than 5,000 tickets to the USO for Military Appreciation Night. Representatives from each branch of the military threw out a first pitch.