Mets pound Braves

Mets pound Braves

September 17th, 2011 by Associated Press in Sports - Professional

ATLANTA -- David Wright drove in five runs with two homers and the New York Mets, responding to criticism from their manager, beat Derek Lowe and the Braves 12-2 on Friday night.

Atlanta leads St. Louis by only 3 1/2 games in the National League wild-card race with 11 games remaining in the regular season. The Cardinals gained ground by edging the Phillies.

The Mets matched their season high with 20 hits in ending a six-game losing streak.

Chris Capuano (11-12) gave up two runs on six hits in five innings to earn his second win in three weeks against the Braves. He pitched a two-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over the Braves in New York on Aug. 26.

Lowe (9-15) gave up nine hits and six runs in only 2 1/3 innings while losing his third straight start. His earned run average rose to 4.94.

The right-hander gave up a two-run homer to Wright and a two-run single to Ruben Tejada in the first inning. He left after giving up Jose Thole's two-run single for New York's fourth hit of the third inning.

Rookie Julio Teheran gave up Wright's three-run homer and Nick Evans' run-scoring single in the fourth.

Lucas Duda had four hits for New York. Wright, Evans, Jose Reyes and Thole each had three.

Michael Bourn tripled and scored on Chipper Jones' fly ball in the first inning. Martin Prado homered in the second off Capuano, who pitched out of a fifth-inning jam after pinch-hitter Antoan Richardson singled and moved to third on Bourn's single.

Following a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen, Capuano struck out Jones, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla.

A 10-1 loss to Washington on Thursday ended a 1-8 homestand for the Mets. After the loss, manager Terry Collins said, "The perception I have right now: We folded it up. And I won't stand for that."

Before Friday's game, Collins softened his criticism. He said he believed his team's problem was execution, not effort.

The Mets continued their trend of playing better on the road. They improved to 41-35 away from home but are only 31-44 at Citi Field.

There were two sterling defensive plays. Mets left fielder Jason Bay reached over the wall to take a home run away from Alex Gonzalez to end the fourth inning. Bay fell to the warning track before taking the ball out of his glove to show he made the catch.

Gonzalez returned the favor in the seventh when he went deep into the hole at shortstop to field a grounder from Bay. Gonzalez, still running toward third, turned and made a leaping throw that barely beat Bay to first base.

Bay was 0-for-17 in his career against Lowe before his single in the third. He walked in the first. Lowe's 15th loss matched his career high set with the Dodgers in 2005.

Tim Hudson, who leads the Braves with 14 wins, will face R.A. Dickey in the 4 p.m. game today. Dickey is 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA in nine career games, including six starts, against Atlanta. His one win came on June 5 in New York.