By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) _ Ike Davis hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and
Dillon Gee pitched four-hit ball over seven innings, leading the
New York Mets to another victory over the Atlanta Braves, 6-1
The Mets snapped Atlanta’s five-game winning streak and kept up
their early dominance in the NL East rivalry, winning again after a
three-game sweep of the Braves in New York to start the season.
With the game tied at 1 in the sixth, Atlanta intentionally
walked hot-hitting David Wright with two outs to get to Davis _ a
move that certainly made sense, given the first baseman was batting
just .118. The strategy backfired when Tommy Hanson (1-2) hung a
2-2 pitch and Davis drove it into the right-field seats.
Gee (1-1) was never in much trouble. Atlanta put together a
couple of hits and a walk in the second, leading to its only run on
Jack Wilson’s RBI groundout.
Wilson nearly homered in the fifth, but left fielder Jason Bay
leaped against the wall to make a brilliant catch above the yellow
line. Bay tumbled back onto the warning track and held the ball up
for the umpire to make the out call. Wilson pulled up near second
base, smiling incredulously at what he had just seen.
That was a familiar look for the Braves on this night,
rekindling memories of their opening series in New York. Atlanta
wound up losing its first four games, its worst start since 1988,
but rebounded with the five straight victories to climb above .500.
Then New York came to Turner Field. In the early going, at
least, the Mets clearly had the Braves’ number.
Atlanta’s only other serious threat against Gee came in the
sixth. Dan Uggla led off with a single, and an apparent double-play
grounder by Jason Heyward was waved off because the hitter’s bat
nicked the glove of catcher Josh Thole. Atlanta couldn’t take
advantage of the error as Gee fought back from a 3-1 hole to strike
out Eric Hinske, got Wilson on a slow roller that moved the runners
to second and third, then fanned pinch-hitter Juan Francisco to end
Hanson went seven innings, allowing just five hits. But his
throwing error on an attempted pickoff at first base led to an
unearned run in the third, erasing Atlanta’s early 1-0 lead. Then,
in the seventh, Hanson skipped a pitch in the dirt for a wild
pitch, allowing Thole to race home from third with an insurance
Bay capped the scoring with a leadoff homer off Livan Hernandez
in the ninth.
NOTES: Wright, who went 1 for 3 with a walk, became the first
player in Mets history to reach base at least twice in his first
seven games of the season. … Atlanta’s starters have lasted at
least seven innings in three straight games. … Wilson was denied
his first homer since 2009 by Bay’s stellar grab. … Michael Bourn
picked up a stolen base the easy way in the eighth. With the
speedster at second base, New York shifted its defense to put three
infielders on the right side of the bag for left-handed hitter
Brian McCann. Bourn noticed no one near third base, so he just
sprinted over with Jon Rauch standing on the mound with the ball.
… The Braves announced Monday that John Smoltz’s number (29) will
be retired during a June ceremony. He’ll also be inducted into the
Braves Hall of Fame. Smoltz retired as the only pitcher with 200
wins and 150 saves.
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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)