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Braves sweep rival Mets

POSTED: June 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

An Atlanta Braves fan sweeps the dugout roof as New York Mets manager Willie Randolph looks out in the eighth inning of the Mets' 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday in Atlanta. Atlanta swept the Mets in the four-game series.

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ATLANTA — Even Johan Santana couldn't stop Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves from completing a four-game sweep of the Mets.

Jones drove in the go-ahead run during a three-run seventh inning and Atlanta beat New York 4-2 on Thursday night behind Tim Hudson to complete its first four-game sweep of the Mets in five years.

Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado homered on consecutive pitches from Hudson in the second inning.

But Santana (5-3) couldn't hold the 2-0 lead while giving up a career-high 12 hits and four runs, three earned, in seven innings.

The left-hander did not walk a batter but had only one strikeout, a season low, while losing for the first time since April 12. The struggling Mets fell to 22-23 with their seventh loss in 10 games, a frustrating stretch that has led to speculation about manager Willie Randolph being fired.

New York dropped below .500 for the first time since April 13.

Hudson (7-3) gave up seven hits and two runs in eight innings. He had four strikeouts and no walks.

Will Ohman got the final out for his second career save and first this season. Atlanta outscored the Mets 27-9 in the series for its 11th sweep of New York at Turner Field, the team's home since 1997. The Braves also improved to 7-2 this season against their NL East rivals, including 6-0 in Atlanta.

The Mets led 2-1 before the Braves rallied with three runs on five hits in the seventh.

Kelly Johnson doubled, moved to second on Hudson's sacrifice and scored on Omar Infante's tying single to center. After Mark Kotsay's single moved Infante to third, Jones drove in the go-ahead run with a single to right. Kotsay scored on another single by Mark Teixeira.

The Mets put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but Luis Castillo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

David Wright opened the ninth with a single against Manny Acosta but was doubled off first base on Beltran's lineout to second. After Ohman relieved, Kotsay made a sliding catch on Delgado's sinking liner to center for the final out.

Beltran led off the second inning with a homer about 20 rows deep into the right-field seats. Delgado hit Hudson's next pitch over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

The Braves cut the lead to 2-1 in the second. Teixeira reached when catcher Brian Schneider bobbled his swinging bunt for an error, then moved to second on a two-out single by Matt Diaz. Teixeira scored from second on Johnson's infield hit to second. Castillo threw toward the plate from his knees, but the throw to Schneider was about 10 feet up the first-base line.

Schneider, apparently unaware Teixeira kept running from third, made no attempt to rush back to the plate for a possible play.
Notes: The Braves' last four-game sweep of the Mets was in July 2003, also at Turner Field. ... Mets OF Ryan Church (slight concussion) and Braves SS Yunel Escobar (sore knee) missed their second straight starts following their collision near second base in Tuesday night's game. Church had a pinch-hit single in the eighth. ... The Mets placed LF Moises Alou (strained right calf) on the disabled list before the game and purchased the contract of C-1B Raul Casanova from Triple-A New Orleans. ... Braves RHP John Smoltz threw to batters before the game as he continues to test a new delivery designed to place less stress on his sore right shoulder.



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