Mets
Braves
2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Braves score two in eighth off Heilman, beat Mets

Apr 8, 2007 - 11:02 PM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves won the battle of the bullpens in the rubber game of a weekend series against the New York Mets. That had to be especially satisfying for John Schuerholz.

Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur stroked RBI doubles off reliever Aaron Heilman in the eighth inning to lift the Braves to a 3-2 victory over the Mets.

While Heilman (0-1) failed to hold a one-run lead, four Atlanta relievers combined to pitch 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Last season, the Mets tied for the major league lead with 97 wins and ended the Braves' streak of 14 consecutive division titles. One of the primary reasons for that was the difference in the bullpens. New York relievers led the National League with a 3.25 ERA and converted 74 percent of its save chances.

Meanwhile, the Braves led the league with 29 blown saves. That spurred Schuerholz, Atlanta's longtime general manager, to acquire lefthander Mike Gonzalez and hard-throwing righthander Rafael Soriano to complement closer Bob Wickman, who was acquired during the 2006 season.

Both Gonzalez and Soriano (1-0) figured in another win for the Braves, combining to pitch a scoreless eighth.

Wickman pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances.

"It's a complete turnaround," Braves manager Bobby Cox said of his reconstructed bullpen. "They were good."

"You feel at ease (with the bullpen)," McCann said. "Later in the game, we feel confident. The attitude in the dugout this year is that we've got a chance (to win)."

Chad Paronto also played a major role, retiring Jose Reyes on a popout to end the seventh inning with two runners on base.

The Braves erased a 2-1 deficit with the two runs in the eighth. Chipper Jones led off the inning with a double to right-center for his first extra-base hit of the season. One out later, McCann hit an opposite-field double to left to score Jones with the tying run.

"I faced him (Heilman) three or four times and he threw me a lot of changeups," McCann said. "I went there ready to hit. I didn't try to do too much."

Francoeur then followed with an opposite-field double to right, scoring pinch runner Brayan Pena with the go-ahead run.

"I was 0-for-3 against him (Heilman)," Francoeur said. "I wanted to try to get something. I was able to get one out to right field there."

"(The pitch) was up a little bit up," Heilman said. "It certainly wasn't a quality pitch. He (Francoeur) went after the ball and sent it down the line."

Rookie Kelly Johnson hit Orlando Hernandez's first pitch of the game over the right field wall to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.

Hernandez gave up just one other hit - a single to Francoeur in the fifth. He struck out six and walked four and was in line for his second win of the season before Heilman squandered the lead.

Shawn Green and Ramon Castro hit back-to-back homers in the second inning off Kyle Davies to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Davies allowed just two other hits in his 6 2/3 innings and matched a career high with eight strikeouts.

"I've told myself that if I go out and pitch the way I pitch, I can pitch (in the majors)," said Davies, who was recalled from Class AAA Richmond on Wednesday. "All the confidence you need starts in yourself."

Davies replaced Lance Cormier (strained right triceps) in the rotation.

"He (Davies) made the day for us," Cox said. "He keeps pitching like that he's going to get a bunch of starts."

New York started its season with four wins before losing the last two games of this series.

"We gave away a couple of games here," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "They weren't total giveaways, but just little things. We'll take a 4-2 road trip, but it could have been better."

The Mets play Philadelphia in their home opener on Monday.

The Braves opened the season with three wins at Philadelphia before taking two of three from the Mets. At 5-1, Atlanta is alone in first place in the NL East for the first time since April 5, 2006. The Mets moved into first place the next day and stayed there for the rest of the season, finishing 18 games ahead of the Braves.

"This is huge from a momentum standpoint," Francoeur said. "I think we can compete with the Mets throughout the year."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 x 3 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ, SCOTT SCHOENEWEIS (7TH), AARON HEILMAN
    (7TH) AND RAMON CASTRO
    ATL - KYLE DAVIES, CHAD PARONTO (7TH), MIKE GONZALEZ
    (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO (

    Apr 8 4:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED BRAYAN PENA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.364, 1-FOR-1)

    Mets vs. BravesApr 8 3:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MCCANN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.261, 1-FOR-3)

    Mets vs. BravesApr 8 3:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: A Heilman relieved S Schoeneweis.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, C WOODWARD ON SECOND, M DIAZ ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: E Renteria (.348, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 8 3:20 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - PITCHING CHANGE
    NYM: AARON HEILMAN (0-0, 0.00) IN THE 7TH
    SITUATION: NO RUNS IN, C WOODWARD ON SECOND, M DIAZ ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: E RENTERIA (.348, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 8 3:20 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: C Woodward hit for C Paronto.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, M DIAZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C Woodward (.200, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Apr 8 3:15 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: C Wilson hit for R Langerhans.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, M DIAZ ON FIRST, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C Wilson (.100, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Apr 8 3:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: M Diaz hit for S Thorman.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M Diaz (.300, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

    Apr 8 3:11 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: S Schoeneweis relieved O Hernandez.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: S Thorman (.167, 0-FOR-1)

    Apr 8 3:10 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - PITCHING CHANGE
    NYM: SCOTT SCHOENEWEIS (0-0, 0.00) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: S THORMAN (.167, 0-FOR-1)

    Apr 8 3:10 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 0
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ (OUT)
    ATL - CHAD PARONTO

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: S THORMAN (.167, 0-FOR-1, SAC)
    R LANGERHANS (.100, 0-FOR-1, BB)
    C PARONTO (.000, 0 HR

    Apr 8 3:07 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 0 0 2 2 0
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ
    ATL - KYLE DAVIES

    DUE UP FOR NY METS: R CASTRO (1.000, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)
    O HERNANDEZ (.500, 0-FOR-1)
    J REYES (.304, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Apr 8 2:09 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 2 2 0
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ
    ATL - KYLE DAVIES

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.368, 2 HR, 6 RBI)
    J FRANCOEUR (.250, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
    S THORMAN (.182, 1 HR,

    Apr 8 1:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SHAWN GREEN (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF KYLE DAVIES.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 1, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: R CASTRO (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Mets vs. BravesApr 8 1:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA
    CONFIRMED STARTERS: NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ
    ATL - KYLE DAVIES

    Mets vs. BravesApr 8 1:22 PM