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Johnson's Solo Shot Enough

Newsday

ATLANTA -- Manager Terry Collins promised a shake-up, and over the course of an eventful Saturday afternoon, the Mets delivered. Within the span of an hour, Brandon Nimmo was on the way to Atlanta, Michael Conforto was on the way to Triple A Las Vegas, and Jose Reyes was on the way to Brooklyn after returning to the team.

The Mets had swapped one slumping young player for another who had surged in Triple A. Then they reached into their past, sending Reyes to the minors for a crash course in playing anything else but shortstop.

Perhaps, the moves eventually will translate into more life for a lineup that has wilted in the heat of the summer. But on Saturday night, they proved only to be a distraction against the worst team in the division.

With Nimmo watching his first big league game from the bench, the contours of an 11-inning, 1-0 win over the Braves on a sticky Saturday night looked all too familiar. Even Reyes at the height of his powers couldn't make a dent in what has become the nightly dysfunction known as the Mets offense.

Kelly Johnson, traded from the Braves earlier this season, lined a solo homer in the 11th off lefty Dario Alvarez, the former Met. But first, the Mets wasted eight shutout innings from Jacob deGrom, then endured an embarrassing gaffe in the 10th, and needed a double play for closer Jeurys Familia to save it in the 11th.

After Wilmer Flores lined a leadoff single, scuffling veteran Alejandro De Aza popped up his sacrifice bunt attempt to move up pinch-runner Matt Reynolds.

Frustrated, De Aza spiked his bat into the ground and didn't bother running. Noticing this, Braves reliever Jim Johnson alertly let the ball drop, then fired to second base to begin a double play.

De Aza's average dropped to .169.

The play encapsulated what has been a run of futility for the Mets, who nevertheless gained a game on the Nationals, who are up only two games in the NL East after dropping their seventh in a row.

For the third straight start, the Mets failed to score a single run for deGrom, who sidestepped trouble while working through stifling heat.

The last start for Julio Teheran of the Braves came against the Mets on June 19, a brilliant one-hit shutout in which he struck out seven. He didn't look that good on Saturday, though he wasn't that far off, either.

He finished with eight scoreless frames, giving up five hits while striking out seven. He has a 23-inning scoreless streak, the bulk of which has been powered by his 17 shutout frames against the Mets.

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