Braves 4, Mets 2
“I respect that organization and the players over there,” Jones said after his tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and led the Atlanta Braves over the New York Mets 4-2 Monday.
“It just so happens that when we play each other a lot late in the season over the last few years, I’ve had some pretty meaningful hits,” said Jones, who had three RBIs.
Andruw Jones hit his major league-leading 45th homer for the Braves, who improved to 49-20 against the Mets at Turner Field, including 5-1 this year. Atlanta estimated his home run went 452 feet, the sixth-longest at Turner Field and the longest by a Brave.
Chipper Jones thinks his teammate should win the NL MVP award.
“I think he’s a landslide winner,” Chipper Jones said. “You’re talking about a guy who plays Gold Glove defense, the best center fielder in the game, bar none. Everybody’s just been waiting for him to turn the corner offensively, and now he’s done that.”
Chipper Jones hit an RBI double that tied the score in the first and homered against Steve Trachsel (1-1). Jones has 34 homers against the Mets, second among active players to Barry Bonds’ 35, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also has a .337 career average in 531 at-bats against New York with 102 RBIs.
Chipper and Andruw Jones homered in the same game for the 48th time, most among active teammates.
New York has lost five of six and seven of nine after going 9-2 from Aug. 19-26. The Mets are fifth in the NL wild-card standings, three games behind first-place Houston.
Andruw Jones’ homer gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but New York tied the score in the eighth when David Wright tagged up at third and beat Jones’ throw from center to give Ramon Castro a sacrifice fly against Blaine Boyer (2-1). The rookie right-hander had pitched 15 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings.
Kyle Farnsworth pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances, going 4-for-4 for Atlanta.
Trachsel, making his second start since returning from back surgery, allowed four runs, seven hits and two walks in 7 1-3 innings. He gave up Rafael Furcal’s leadoff single in the eighth, caught Marcus Giles’ bunt attempt, then gave up Chipper Jones’ 16th home run of the season.
“It was a fastball down,” Trachsel said. “No pitch is ever exactly where you want it, but that one wasn’t belt high, right down the middle. It’s not just Chipper. It’s all those guys. You can never relax against them.”
Braves starter John Thomson allowed one run and four hits in five innings. Thomson, who missed nearly three months with a strained tendon in his right middle finger, is 0-2 with an 7.03 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13.
Once catcher Johnny Estrada began mixing up pitch counts and calling for more breaking balls, Thomson settled down after the second inning.
“Keeping them off my fastball made my fastball that much better,” Thomson said. “I think that’s the big key for that lineup, because they’re such a good fastball-hitting team.”
A day after Dan Kolb allowed five runs in the 12th inning of an 8-3 loss to Cincinnati, Atlanta’s bullpen labored. Kyle Davies, who pitched two innings, was helped in the seventh when right fielder Jeff Francoeur caught Carlos Beltran’s fly ball in shallow right with the bases loaded and one out and threw a perfect strike to Estrada, who tagged out Victor Diaz.
“Just because he’s tied for the league lead, that doesn’t mean you can’t run on him,” Mets third-base coach Manny Acta said. “So what are you going to do? He made a good throw. You gave to give credit to him.”
Beltran put the Mets ahead with an RBI double in the first.
Atlanta is 9-4 overall against the Mets this year. … Trachsel also popped up a bunt attempt. … The Mets purchased the contract of RHP Danny Graves from Triple-A Norfolk. Graves went 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA in five games with Norfolk. … Braves LHP Mike Hampton (herniated disc), eligible to come off the DL Sunday, is to throw four simulated innings on Wednesday. … Atlanta 1B Adam LaRoche is 4-for-82 (.049) since Aug. 19… Willie Stargell has the most homers against the Mets (60). Chipper Jones is tied for eighth.