ATLANTA (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Javy Lopez's three-run homer keyed
an eight-run rally in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat
the New York Mets 11-8 Sunday to finish a four-game sweep.
Pinch-hitter Marcus Giles drove in the go-ahead run as Atlanta
got nine hits in the eighth to complete a stirring comeback.
Braves, who earned their first four-game sweep of the Mets since
moving to Atlanta in 1966.
The Braves, winners of five straight, are 13-1 since July 3 and
have the best record through 97 games, 65-32, in franchise history.
Atlanta's 1998 team went 64-32 before losing its 97th game.
and Armando Benitez in the past three weeks, have dropped 10 of 11.
Lopez's fifth career pinch-hit homer was his 24th this year and
first since June 24 against Philadelphia.
New York reliever Edwin Almonte was handed an 8-3 lead to begin
the eighth, but he allowed consecutive singles to Vinny Castilla,
Henry Blanco and Bragg before manager Art Howe brought in Mike
Lopez hit Stanton's 2-0 pitch over the left-field fence to make
it 8-7. Rafael Furcal reached on a bunt single and advanced to
third when Stanton's wild throw to first went into right field for
an error. After DeRosa drove in Furcal to make it 8-8, Gary
Sheffield flied out before Andruw Jones' single moved DeRosa to
Giles, batting for pitcher Ray King (3-0), singled to left to
drive in DeRosa for a 9-8 lead. Castilla's fielder's choice made it
10-8 when second baseman Rey Sanchez booted the grounder for an
error that scored Jones.
Stanton was pulled for Pedro Feliciano, who allowed Blanco's RBI
single that ended the scoring. Stanton allowed five hits and five
runs in one-third of an inning.
John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 38 chances.
The eighth-inning meltdown spoiled a solid start by New York's
Al Leiter, who came off the disabled list before the game.
Making his first start since going on the DL on July 7 with an
inflamed right knee, Leiter allowed three hits and two runs in five
innings. Two of his four walks were intentional, and the
left-hander struck out five.
Horacio Ramirez was chased with two outs in the fifth after the
Mets scored three runs to take a 5-2 lead. Bad fielding hurt the
rookie left-hander, who added to his trouble by fielding Leiter's
sacrifice bunt and pulling DeRosa off first with an errant throw
that loaded the bases with none out.
Mets reliever David Weathers hit Robert Fick with a pitch to
force in a run in the sixth.
Jason Phillips made it 6-3 when he led off the eighth with his
sixth homer. New York added two more runs off Jung Bong on Jose
Reyes' RBI single and Duncan's bases-loaded walk.
Leiter led 2-0 in the fourth before allowing Castilla's
sacrifice fly and Blanco's RBI double.
Reyes hit a two-run double in the third.Game notes
Mets 1B Tony Clark, who struck out in all four at-bats
Saturday, went 2-for-3 with three runs. ... New York sent infielder
Jorge Velandia back to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Leiter.
- Home Plate Umpire - James Hoye
- First Base Umpire - Larry Young
- Second Base Umpire - Jim Wolf
- Third Base Umpire - Mike Everitt