NEW YORK — Michael Bourn broke for the plate, determined to score Atlanta’s first run of the season.
Not so fast.
The three-time NL stolen base champ was tagged out on a quick toss from catcher Josh Thole to pitcher R.A. Dickey, and the Braves managed little else Saturday in a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Two games, two runs. That’s the grand total this year as the Braves, whose hitters disappeared during a late collapse last season that cost them a playoff spot, again struggled to find their groove.
“We’re not panicking,” Braves outfielder Jason Heyward said. “The first two games, it hasn’t happened.”
Martin Prado hit a two-run homer for Atlanta. His shot in the fifth ended the Braves’ longest season-opening shutout streak since 1980 – even so, this is their first 0-2 start in four years.
Bourn tried to put Atlanta ahead from the get-go. He led off the game with a double, moved to third on a grounder and bolted home when a pitch deflected off Thole’s mitt and skittered away. But Thole pounced on it and threw a fastball to Dickey, and the knuckleballer tagged Bourn.
“A big percentage of the team that scores first wins,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez offered.
“Bourn hesitated,” he said. “You can’t fault him on that. The two guys made a play.”
The Braves got a final chance in the ninth, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Mets closer Frank Francisco earned his second save when pinch hitter Matt Diaz struck out swinging, leaving the Braves at 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position this season.
Jair Jurrjens (0-1) gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks in 4⅓ innings. He made the All-Star team last year, but won only one of his final seven starts and didn’t pitch in September because of an injured right knee.
Jurrjens’ start was his shortest since he went 3⅔ innings on Sept. 9, 2010, against St. Louis.
Lucas Duda homered twice and became the first player to take advantage of the pulled-in fences at Citi Field as the Mets improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2009.
David Wright kept hitting with a homer and two singles. Coming off a down year and injury-interrupted spring training, the All-Star had two hits and drove in the only run in Thursday’s opener against Atlanta.