Braves vs. Mets
When: 7:10 tonight
Where: Citi Field, New York
Pitchers: Braves, RHP Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 2.01); Mets, Mike Pelfrey (4-0, 5.46)
TV, radio: SportSouth; 102.9 FM
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com, 404-577-9100
Web site: www.atlantabraves.com
NEW YORK — Derek Lowe outlasted Johan Santana in a matchup of aces, pitching the Atlanta Braves to an 8-3 victory Monday night that ended the New York Mets’ seven-game winning streak and extended Atlanta’s to three.
In a season-long trend that has become maddening for the Mets, they provided Santana with little support on offense or defense. Jose Reyes’ two-out error in the seventh inning led to four runs, saddling Santana (4-2) with his second loss this season when he did not allow an earned run.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner was pulled after 108 pitches with the score tied at 1. He lowered his NL-best ERA to 0.78 through seven starts — but somehow New York has lost three of them.
Matt Diaz’s two-run single off Pedro Feliciano snapped a 1-all tie in the seventh, and Casey Kotchman followed with another two-run single that made it 5-1.
That was more than enough for Lowe (5-1), who took a three-hitter into the seventh and won his fourth straight start. The Braves have won five of six on an eight-game road trip against the three teams ahead of them in the NL East standings. This was their first visit to Citi Field, the Mets’ new ballpark.
Both teams played without a big slugger. Carlos Delgado sat out for the Mets because of a recurring hip injury, while Chipper Jones was sidelined for Atlanta due to a sore right elbow.
Lowe gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. The Mets pursued the sinkerballer in the offseason but were outbid by the Braves, who signed him to a $60 million, four-year contract.
New York then turned its attention to re-signing Oliver Perez, a major bust this year who is currently on the disabled list.
Following two infield singles, a two-out throwing error by third baseman David Wright gave Atlanta a run in the first inning. New York tied it on Omir Santos’ sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Kelly Johnson’s one-out single in the seventh chased Santana. With two on and two outs, Feliciano came in to face cleanup batter Brian McCann, who hit a slow grounder up the middle. Reyes slid over from shortstop but booted the ball behind second, loading the bases.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel stayed with Feliciano against the right-handed hitting Diaz, and his single to left put Atlanta ahead.
Yunel Escobar added an RBI grounder in the eighth, and the Braves scored twice in the ninth after McCann’s leadoff double. Jeff Francoeur had a sacrifice fly, and pinch-hitter Omar Infante delivered an RBI single.
Santana was charged with two unearned runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He dropped to 0-4 with a 2.31 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta.
The Mets have scored 15 runs in Santana’s seven starts this year, 11 while he was on the mound. They have scored 139 runs in their other 24 games, an average of 5.79.Notes: The crowd of 40,497 surpassed 40,000 for the fourth time in 18 games at Citi Field. ... Jeremy Reed started in RF for the Mets in place of slumping Ryan Church. Manuel said he wants to give Reed a string of at-bats and he might start again tonight.