Mets
Braves
1 - 3 Final
  for this game

Smoltz outduels Santana as Braves beat Mets

Apr 6, 2008 - 10:19 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- John Smoltz and four relievers combined to outduel Johan Santana and the New York Mets.

Smoltz scattered two hits over five scoreless innings and Mark Teixeira smashed a two-run homer Sunday to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 win over the Mets.

The game, which was billed to be a duel between two of the league's elite starters, lived up to its hype - as both Smoltz and Santana had sparkling outings.

Smoltz (1-0), who was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, yielded just two hits, walked two and struck out three in five frames.

"I threw a lot of backdoor sliders," Smoltz said. "I broke out my splitter and threw a couple of splitters. That kept them off balance. I was pleased with my first outing."

"John pitched a heck of a ballgame," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He threw outstanding."

The 40-year-old Smoltz threw 51 of his 79 pitches for strikes before leaving after five frames after a knot developed underneath his right shoulder blade.

The same injury, which shut Smoltz down for a week during the spring, should not sideline the Cy Young Award-winning righthander from making his next start on Friday in Washington.

"I recognized it (in the fifth inning)," Smoltz said. "I had a talk with myself (walking off the mound). I sat down and said, 'I'm sorry, but that's it.' That's what I'm going to have to do.

"I already feel better. The tension has been relieved. I iced it."

The best chance the Mets came to plating a run against Atlanta's ace came in the third. Santana led off the inning with a bloop double to right-center field and advanced to third on a groundout by Jose Reyes.

But Smoltz escaped, inducing a shallow flyout to center by Luis Castillo and striking out David Wright.

New York looked as if it was going to rally again in the fourth, after Carlos Delgado got the Mets started with a one-out single and Ryan Church followed with a drive to right-center field.

However, Mark Kotsay, who is replacing 10-time Gold Glove Award winner Andruw Jones in center field, made a nice running catch and doubled off Delgado at first base to stymie the threat.

"Kotsay leads all fielders in assists since 1996 or 97," Smoltz said. "He's a real good center fielder. He's not going to replace (Andruw Jones), but he makes the absence not look so great."

Blaine Boyer pitched a perfect sixth and Will Ohman and Peter Moylan each worked a scoreless inning. Rafael Soriano allowed a run in the ninth, but recorded his first save.

Santana (1-1) matched Smoltz pitch for pitch, allowing one run and seven hits with three strikeouts in seven innings. But two mistakes in the bottom of the third cost him.

Kotsay led off the frame with a double to right field and advanced to third on Smoltz's sacrifice. After Santana made a stellar defensive play on Kelly Johnson's grounder to keep a run from scoring, Yunel Escobar laced a double into the gap in left-center to give Atlanta a 1-0 advantage.

"They took advantage of a couple of pitches," Santana said. "Overall, it felt good. I felt good. We weren't able to put any runs on the board. That's about it."

With Santana out of the game, Teixeira connected with a two-run blast - which bounced off the top of the right field wall - off reliever Aaron Heilman in the eighth for his second homer of the year to extend the lead to 3-0.

"I was glad to see Johan get out of there," Teixeira said. "He's probably one of the best pitchers in baseball."

Atlanta needed those runs, as Soriano ran into trouble in the ninth.

The Atlanta closer opened the frame by issuing a free pass to Wright before recording the next two outs. Church plated Wright with a single before Soriano issued a free pass to Angel Pagan, bringing the winning run to the plate.

Brian Schneider laced a hard smash down the first base line, which looked destined for the right field corner. But Teixeira made a diving grab and threw out the Mets catcher at first base to end the game.

"I was playing a step towards the corner," Teixeira said. "Brian hit it good. I went and smothered it and tried to get the out."








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

    BATTERIES: NYM - JOHAN SANTANA, AARON HEILMAN (8TH) AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER
    ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, BLAINE BOYER (6TH), WILL OHMAN
    (7TH), PETER MOYLAN (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO (9TH) AND B

    Apr 6 4:11 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED DAVID WRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CHURCH ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 1
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: A PAGAN (.313, 0-FOR-3)

    Mets 1, Braves 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 6 4:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF AARON HEILMAN SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.346, 1-FOR-3)

    Mets 0, Braves 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 6 3:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR SCORED MARK KOTSAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y ESCOBAR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.458, 0-FOR-1)

    Mets 0, Braves 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 6 2:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    MetsFan Added 5 roots

    Mets vs. BravesApr 3 10:40 AM