Giles, Furcal spark Braves

ATLANTA (AP) -- After catching a big break in the eighth inning, the Atlanta Braves withstood a big scare in the ninth.

Maybe it was enough to get Dan Kolb back on track.

Marcus Giles hit a three-run homer, Rafael Furcal had a bases-loaded triple and Kolb returned as closer to save Atlanta's 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

Kolb was banished to middle relief last week after several poor outings, but he got the call when the Braves went to the ninth with an 8-5 lead.

"It came up perfect for him to do it," manager Bobby Cox said.

Kolb entered to boos from the home crowd, and the heckling got louder when he gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Woodward. After pitching coach Leo Mazzone went to the mound, Kolb struck out the next two hitters.

But Jose Reyes was credited with a triple when Andruw Jones and Brian Jordan nearly collided on a liner to left-center. Then Miguel Cairo walked and stole second, putting the tying runs in scoring position.

Mike Cameron, who homered in the fourth, lost track of the count after working it to 2-2. He trotted to first on ball three and had to be summoned back to the plate by the umpires.

"I was like, wait a second," Kolb said. "I really do need to go digging for a horseshoe, because I know that's only the third ball. I wanted to tell him, hey, get back in there."

Cameron struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

"It feels good to battle and get the job done," said Kolb, who already has four losses and three blown saves to go along with a 6.27 ERA. "I'm frustrated, trust me. If you think it's frustrating to watch, imagine what I'm feeling."

Bouncing back from a dismal road trip, the Braves kept their lead in the eighth when David Wright was called out for sliding too far out of the baseline trying to break up a double play.

Two runs scored as Furcal's relay throw deflected off the glove of pitcher Chris Reitsma, who was covering first. The scoreboard even had the game tied at 7.

But second base umpire Jeff Nelson signaled a double play because of Wright's wide slide into Furcal. Television replays backed up the call, showing the runner sliding late and at least three feet wide of the bag in an attempt to disrupt Furcal.

Wright argued the call vehemently, getting tossed when he threw his helmet. He homered and drove in three runs, but it's been a rough couple days for the Mets' young third baseman.

On Sunday, his eighth-inning error opened the door for the Yankees to rally for a 5-3 win over their crosstown rivals.

"I feel like it was a really close play," Wright said. "It was a tough call to make in that situation."

Mets manager Willie Randolph contended that the slide had nothing to do with Furcal's errant throw. Naturally, the Braves' shortstop disagreed.

"I was three steps over and he slid into me," Furcal said. "I made a high throw and the umpire called it right away. It was a good call."

Horacio Ramirez (3-3) pitched seven innings and drew a bases-loaded walk that sparked a four-run second.

Kazuhisa Ishii retired the first five Atlanta hitters before running into two-out trouble in the second. Raul Mondesi and Brayan Pena hit back-to-back singles, each moving up a base on Wright's wild throw into the Atlanta dugout for an error.

The Mets decided to walk Wilson Betemit intentionally, hoping to get out of the mess against Ramirez. But Ishii (0-3) fell behind
with three straight balls and just missed the inside corner with a 3-2 pitch.

Ishii ran the count full on Furcal, as well -- and would have been better off throwing another ball. Instead, he left a pitch over the plate that Furcal lined to the wall in right-center, clearing the bases to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.

Cameron homered as the Mets pulled to 4-3 in the fourth, but Giles restored a comfortable margin in the bottom half. Again, Ishii couldn't make the key two-out pitch. With two runners aboard, Giles lined a 2-0 pitch into the right field seats for just his second homer of the season.

Ishii lasted only four innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs. The Braves added an unearned run off Mike DeJean in the eighth.

Wright homered in the second, to go along with an RBI single and bases-loaded walk. But the Braves managed to get back on track after a 4-8 road trip -- in which Kolb struggled and four players went on the disabled list.

Game notes
Jones nearly made a brilliant catch on Wright's homer. Jones drifted back to the wall, timed his leap perfectly and appeared to have the ball in his glove. But when he came down, it was empty. ... Pena made his major-league debut, going 1-for-4. He was called up from Triple-A Richmond last week when backup catcher Eddie Perez went on the DL with a sore shoulder. ... Mets catcher Mike Piazza was rested, though he struck out in the ninth as a pinch-hitter. New York center fielder Carlos Beltran was still out with a strained quadriceps.