Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves master Mets

Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves master Mets

September 9th, 2012 by Associated Press in Sports - Professional

Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NEW YORK -- Kris Medlen extended Atlanta's scoreless streak to 31 innings for its best string in more than 20 years, and slumping catcher Brian McCann drove in four runs with four hits as the Braves beat the New York Mets 11-3 on a stormy Saturday.

A tornado touched down in Queens about 15 miles away several hours before the game. When the grounds crew struggled to control the billowing tarp before the first pitch, Braves reliever Jonny Venters pitched in to hold a flapping corner.

The winds were blowing at 26 mph with gusts up to 51 mph at the start. Dark, ominous clouds swept in later, causing a 75-minute rain delay after the sixth inning and prompting the public-address announcer to urge fans to take cover.

By then, the National League wild-card leaders had overwhelmed the Mets in their fourth straight win. McCann homered, doubled and tied a career high for hits and Dan Uggla kept up his recent resurgence at the plate with three hits and two walks, scoring three times.

Medlen (8-1) stretched several impressive streaks for himself and the Braves. He allowed four hits, left with an 8-2 lead after the rain and contributed a long RBI double.

Atlanta has won the last 19 games Medlen has started, dating to 2010. And the NL pitcher of the month for August improved to 13-0 in his last 24 starts overall.

Medlen went 40 1/3 innings without permitting an earned run. His run of success ended where it started, having begun the streak in a win at Citi Field on Aug. 11.

Medlen certainly has seen the Mets enough. This was his seventh appearance against them this year, including five relief outings.

Atlanta got production from almost everyone during its highest-scoring game in exactly a month. Freddie Freeman stopped an 0-for-16 slide with an RBI single, Eric Hinske had his eighth career pinch-hit homer and Chipper Jones drove in a run with a groundout.

Michael Bourn led off the game with a double against Jeremy Hefner (2-6). Bourn already had batted three times when Hefner's spot in the Mets' order came up for the first time -- it was 5-0 at that point and Hefner was out of the game.

McCann came into the game hitting .224 and stuck in an 0-for-17 rut. The six-time All-Star catcher bunted down the third-base line for an easy single against the Mets' overshifted defense in the second, and a single by Jose Constanza off Hefner's glove made it 1-0.

Medlen's double finished Hefner in the third. McCann hit his 19th homer in the fifth.

Pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno homered in the Mets' fifth, the first off Medlen in 52 2/3 innings.

Uggla has reached base in seven straight plate appearances.

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (broken right pinky) is set to rejoin the team Monday in Milwaukee.