Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard

Falcons coach Dan Quinn had good reason not to worry about Julio Jones showing up for training camp.

Jones told Quinn weeks ago he’d report on time [url=http://www.giantsfootballauthentic.com/will-hernandez-jersey-authentic]Will Hernandez Game Jersey[/url] , even as the wide receiver sought to have his contract renegotiated. A training camp holdout appeared to be Jones’ best path to a new deal.

Finally, the Falcons announced close to midnight on Wednesday they’d reached an agreement to renegotiate Jones’ deal next year. The news came about 16 hours before Thursday’s deadline for players to report.

The Falcons open training camp on Friday.

”I probably didn’t feel the same stress that you and the fan base had,” Quinn said at a news conference on Thursday. ”There were some reports regarding him not coming. I’d known he was coming to camp for a while. That’s part of good communication, player to coaches.”

The Falcons announced Jones reported before Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Quinn said he spoke with Jones earlier this month when the receiver participated in an annual offseason passing camp in California led by quarterback Matt Ryan.

”It was probably during that time that I felt comfortable he was coming to camp,” Quinn said.

The reassurance from Jones was especially important after he did not participate in the Falcons’ mandatory minicamp in June.

Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were in good spirits as they discussed how they avoided the potential distraction of a training camp holdout by one of the team’s most prominent players.

It has been a good week for the Falcons’ leadership team. Quinn and Dimitroff have new three-year contract extensions, which were announced on Wednesday.

Jones, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, wasn’t happy that a flurry of new contracts signed by other top NFL wide receivers moved him down the list of top-paid players at the position.

He is entering the third year of his five-year, $71.5 million contract, including $47 million in guaranteed money.

The Falcons managed to make Jones happy with an undisclosed financial ”adjustment” without a dramatic change to their salary cap position for 2018. Dimitroff wouldn’t reveal details of the new agreement.

The biggest reward for Jones was the assurance the team will rework his contract following the season. That promise was delivered with more than a handshake.

”Papers are written up, sitting on a desk waiting to be signed,” Dimitroff said.

The agreement preserves Dimitroff’s flexibility in his efforts to negotiate contract extensions for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett [url=http://www.redskinscheapstore.com/da_ron-payne-jersey-cheap]Da'Ron Payne Redskins Jersey[/url] , offensive guard Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen.

The Falcons already agreed to a five-year, $150 million extension with quarterback Matt Ryan, the most lucrative deal in NFL history, this offseason.

Ryan’s contract and talks with players moving closer to free agency left little financial space to make big changes to Jones’ deal before 2019.

”We felt like we came to a good agreement,” Dimitroff said. ”We were very creative with how we put this together.”

Dimitroff said talks with Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton, were ”never contentious at all, at least from our perspective.”

Jones is expected to talk with reporters on Friday, when the Falcons have their first practice of training camp. He was not seen during the 30-minute period reporters were able to view players reporting to the team’s practice facility.

Jones’ teammates seemed to have little concern about the status of the team’s top receiver.

”Oh, I don’t know what’s going on with him,” offensive guard Andy Levitre said when asked about the team’s agreement with Jones. ”He’s coming? I’m expecting everybody to be here, I guess.”

Added cornerback Brian Poole: ”That’s exciting. That’s definitely exciting. Yeah. That’s exciting.”

Poole said players don’t get involved in teammates’ contract talks.

”When it comes to that kind of stuff [url=http://www.cardinalscheapstore.com/christian-kirk-jersey-cheap]Cheap Christian Kirk Jersey[/url] , everybody kind of worries about himself,” Poole said.

But when it comes to Quinn and Dimitroff, having one of the league’s top receivers on the practice field is crucial to the team’s hopes for a third straight playoff appearance.

”I sleep a hell of a lot better at night,” Quinn said.

One timely swing by slumping Cody Bellinger turned a nip-and-tuck game in favor of the Dodgers.

Bellinger hit a grand slam to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and Los Angeles beat the sinking New York Mets 5-2 on Friday night behind Alex Wood’s effective pitching.

”Yeah, it felt good,” said Bellinger, who began the night batting .231. ”I was just honestly trying to hit the ball any way I could and luckily I connected.”

Yasiel Puig added a solo home run in the ninth, and the defending NL champions won their 10th straight against the Mets dating to May 2016. Los Angeles has outscored New York 75-20 in those games, winning each of the past eight by at least three runs – a first in Dodgers history against any opponent, according to STATS.

Wood (3-5) outdueled Zack Wheeler, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since last August.

”With the last two, I feel I’ve made some steps forward [url=http://www.cincinnatibengalsteamonline.com/mark-walton-jersey]Mark Walton Jersey[/url] , for sure. You’ve just got to keep building on it,” Wood said.

The left-hander with the funky delivery struck out seven and walked one as the resurgent Dodgers (39-35) improved to 23-9 since May 17 – the best mark in the majors during that stretch.

”I thought he threw the ball really well. So he’s back, for me,” manager Dave Roberts said . ”He seems very confident now.”

Jose Bautista hit his first homer for the Mets, a two-run shot in the sixth.

”It’s nice to get on the board,” he said. ”Hopefully a couple more coming.”

An error by second baseman Max Muncy gave New York a chance in the eighth, but with runners at the corners Scott Alexander got Bautista to ground into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch.

Muncy made the turn after a smooth play by shortstop Enrique Hernandez.

”It’ll help him sleep a lot better tonight,” Roberts said.

Alexander tossed two shutout innings, and Kenley Jansen fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

New York wasted a dazzling catch by center fielder Michael Conforto that saved a run. After opening 11-1, the Mets (31-42) have lost four in a row and 21 of 27 to fall a season-worst 11 games under .500. They are 1-11 in their past 12 home games and have gone 14 straight at Citi Field without eclipsing four runs.

”No real reason to explain it,” rookie manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I wish we were playing better for our home fans and giving them more wins. They deserve more wins.”

Wheeler (2-6) walked the first two batters in the sixth – though his full-count pitch to leadoff man Joc Pederson certainly appeared to be in the strike zone. One out later, Matt Kemp blooped a single to right field to load the bases.

Bellinger connected on an 0-2 delivery [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/kolton-miller-jersey-cheap]Kolton Miller Raiders Jersey[/url] , launching a 96 mph fastball into the second deck in right for his second career slam. Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year entered the day hitting .179 with runners in scoring position.

”He was kind of blowing it by me all day. But then again, he’s got three other pitches so you can’t sell out 100 percent. Like I said, I just tried to have a short swing,” Bellinger said.

SOMETHING TO GROW ON

In the opener of a three-game series, Wheeler went seven innings but dropped to 0-5 in 10 starts since his last win April 29 at San Diego. He threw 114 pitches, his most since returning to the mound last year after missing two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. ”Walked them and ended up paying for it,” Wheeler said. ”Thought I threw well tonight. In essence, just that one pitch.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: SS Chris Taylor sat out because of a tight left hamstring. He was available off the bench – probably just to hit, according to Roberts. … Reserve infielder Chase Utley was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list after missing 19 games with a sprained left thumb. … Rookie RHP Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture) is scheduled to throw 20-30 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. He could return to the rotation without a minor league rehab assignment, Roberts said. Buehler is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in nine big league starts.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained ligament in right index finger) was scheduled to play catch. … OFs Yoenis Cespedes (tightness in upper right quad) and Jay Bruce (strained right hip) will not resume baseball activities until they are free of symptoms. … 3B David Wright (shoulder, back surgery) planned to hit in the indoor batting cage and go through other baseball activities on the field.

UP NEXT

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) is set to make a surprise return from the disabled list Saturday night [url=http://www.redskinscheapstore.com/derrius-guice-jersey-cheap]Derrius Guice Jersey[/url] , starting against Jacob deGrom (5-2, major league-low 1.51 ERA) in a marquee matchup – weather permitting. Kershaw has been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain. He originally was scheduled for a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but heavy rain in the forecast caused the team to change plans. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP, who also missed nearly all of May with left biceps tendinitis, will be limited against the Mets, with 21-year-old rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) ready in reserve.

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