Mets
Braves
5 - 1 Final
  for this game

Santana, Mets hold off Braves, 5-1

Jul 19, 2009 - 2:03 AM By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA(AP) -- Second-half success is nothing new for Johan Santana.

Beating the Atlanta Braves? Now that was a career first for the left-hander.

Santana threw seven scoreless innings to take some pressure off New York's struggling offense and the Mets beat the Braves 5-1 on Saturday.

Santana earned his first career victory against the Braves, improving to 1-4 despite his 1.96 ERA in seven career starts against Atlanta.

"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," Santana said.

The Mets had lost 8 of 11, including the first two games of the four-game series to the Braves by a combined margin of 16-3.

"We needed that one really bad," Santana said.

"We still have a long way to go. We need to get on a roll."

The fourth-place Mets, eight games back of NL East-leading Philadelphia, scored two runs in the sixth to snap a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings. Kenshin Kawakami's bases-loaded walk to Jeremy Reed forced in the first run.

It's only the seventh time in the last 23 games that the Mets have scored more than four runs.

"We did some things right on offense," said Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

Chipper Jones hit his 10th homer in the eighth off Pedro Feliciano.

The Mets led only 2-1 before scoring three runs in the ninth off Manny Acosta. Angel Pagan had three hits, including a run-scoring triple in the ninth.

Mets left fielder Gary Sheffield, who left Friday night's game with cramping in his right hamstring, did not play. He said he may return as early as Sunday.

For his second straight start, Santana (11-7) gave up only five hits in seven scoreless innings.

Kawakami (5-7) gave up five hits and two runs in 6 2-3 innings.

Santana was sharp in his first start since the All-Star break, continuing his career trend. He improved to 59-17 in his career after the break. His .776 winning second-half percentage is the best all-time for pitchers with at least 75 decisions.

He was 8-0 with a 2.17 ERA in 15 second-half starts in 2008.

"When you face a guy like Santana you've got to do everything that you can to get one run or to hold them," said Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He was that good today. Today goes to Santana."

Santana gave up a first-inning double to Martin Prado and a second-inning single to Casey Kotchman and then didn't give up another hit until the Braves loaded the bases with one out in the seventh with singles by Matt Diaz, Church and pinch-hitter Garret Anderson.

Santana struck out Nate McLouth, who is in an 0-for-15 slump, and ended the threat on Martin Prado's groundout to third base.

"I didn't lose my composure," Santana said. "I was able to throw the right pitches."

Santana has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings, lowering his ERA (2.92) under 3.00 for the first time since he gave up nine runs to the Yankees on June 14.

The Braves issued intentional walks to David Wright in the first, sixth and ninth innings, each time putting runners on first and second for former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur.

"That was interesting," Manuel said. "We don't know Jeff as well as Bobby does. We still have to try to figure him out."

In the first, Francoeur grounded out to shortstop Yunel Escobar to end the inning, but the strategy backfired on the Braves in the sixth and ninth innings.

In the sixth, Francoeur's infield single loaded the bases with one out. Kawakami walked Reed to force in Luis Castillo, who led off the inning with a single. Omir Santos drove in Wright with a grounder that forced out Reed at second base, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The Mets scored their first two runs in the ninth on Pagan's run-scoring triple and Castillo's suicide squeeze bunt. Acosta walked Daniel Murphy, who stole second, setting up the third intentional walk of the game to Wright. Francoeur's single up the middle drove in Murphy.

The sixth-inning runs were the first for the Mets since the fourth inning of Thursday night's series opener. They had a streak of 23 straight scoreless innings end on July 8.

NOTES: Attendance was 51,175, a season high at Turner Field for the second straight day. ... RHP Tim Hudson is scheduled to throw two innings for Class A Myrtle Beach on Sunday in his first injury rehabilitation appearance since his elbow ligament-replacement surgery last year.








  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NL
    NY METS 5
    ATLANTA 1 FINAL

    Jul 18 7:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED DANIEL MURPHY
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, D WRIGHT ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 5
    ATLANTA 1 TOP,9TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: J REED (.274, 0-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Mets 5, Braves 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 7:21 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE HIT BY LUIS CASTILLO SCORED ANGEL PAGAN
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 4
    ATLANTA 1 TOP,9TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: D MURPHY (.242, 0-FOR-4)

    Mets 4, Braves 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 7:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY ANGEL PAGAN SCORED ALEX CORA
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PAGAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 3
    ATLANTA 1 TOP,9TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: L CASTILLO (.286, 1-FOR-3, SAC)

    Mets 3, Braves 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 7:11 PM
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    Mets 3, Braves 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 7:11 PM
  • 45
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    Rouvel Added 5 roots

    Mets 2, Braves 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 18 6:41 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (10) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF PEDRO FELICIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.301, 0-FOR-3)

    Mets 2, Braves 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 18 6:40 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mets 2, Braves 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 18 6:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    FORCE OUT BY OMIR SANTOS SCORED DAVID WRIGHT
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, O SANTOS ON FIRST, J FRANCOEUR ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    ATLANTA 0 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: A CORA (.241, 1-FOR-2)

    Mets 2, Braves 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 18 5:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO JEREMY REED SCORED LUIS CASTILLO
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J REED ON FIRST, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, D
    WRIGHT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 1
    ATLANTA 0 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: O SANTOS (.261, 0-FOR-2)

    Mets 1, Braves 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 18 5:44 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Mets vs. BravesJul 18 7:14 AM