ATLANTA (AP)—Ryan Langerhans came through in the ninth inning. Then he topped himself in the 10th.
The rookie outfielder hit a two-out, two-run single and the Atlanta Braves rallied twice for a 4-3 victory over the slumping New York Mets, finishing off a three-game sweep in stunning fashion Wednesday night.
Langerhans was right in the middle of both rallies. He tied the score at 2 with an RBI double off Braden Looper (4-7) in the ninth.
After inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out jam from Looper, Shingo Takatsu was one pitch from giving the Mets a much-needed victory.
But Langerhans fought off one 3-2 pitch, then drove the next one to the gap in left-center to bring home the tying and winning runs.
“It’s tough enough to come up with one big hit,” said Braves starter Tim Hudson, who pitched eight strong innings. “For a guy—especially a young guy — to come up with big hits in back-to-back innings, you hardly ever see that. I’m glad I got to see it on our side.”
This was a crushing blow for the Mets, who dropped 10 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East after squandering leads of 2-1 in the ninth and 3-2 in the 10th.
“We should have won the game,” Looper said. “I stunk it up.”
Langerhans’ last two at-bats were right from the textbook. In the ninth, he fouled off three two-strike pitches before delivering off Looper’s ninth pitch, driving an opposite-field double to left-center.
Langerhans did basically the same thing in the 10th, fouling off a pitch he didn’t like before finding one he could drive to the identical spot as his previous hit.
“It feels great,” Langerhans said. “I’ve been working on some stuff, trying to really relax myself, working in the cage and in (batting practice). Tonight was kind of the first night that I’ve gotten to get in there. It’s just one night, so I’ve got to keep it going.”
Teammate Chipper Jones was impressed.
“When you’re up there fighting for your life, it takes a lot of talent to foul pitches off and extend the at-bat until you do get a ball you can hit,” he said.
John Foster (4-1) got the win despite giving up Chris Woodward’s pinch-hit single in the top half of the 10th, which pushed the Mets back ahead. Foster wasn’t really at fault, taking over a bases-loaded mess left by Chris Reitsma and Jim Brower.
It didn’t matter. New York lost for the ninth time in 11 games and fell to 4-19 in the regular season at Turner Field in September and October, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Tom Glavine pitched into the eighth, but the bullpen denied him a rare win over his former team. The Mets slipped five games behind wild-card leader Houston, which beat Philadelphia 8-6.
New York squandered a chance for more runs in the 10th. With the bases still loaded after Woodward’s blooper to center, Ramon Castro lined out to shortstop Rafael Furcal, who flipped to second to double off David Wright.
Looper couldn’t even get an out in the 10th. Chipper Jones, who had 34 homers and 102 RBIs in his career against the Mets, led off with a single to left. Andruw Jones was plunked in the back by Looper. After falling behind 0-2 on two failed bunt attempts, Julio Franco managed to coax a walk from Looper, loading the bases and bringing on Takatsu.
Glavine gave up only five hits and a run in 7 1-3 innings, but his career record against the Braves remained 1-8. His only win against his longtime team came on opening day in 2004.
“It hurts a little bit more at this time of year,” Glavine said, who was on the other side for plenty of Braves’ wins over the Mets. “It’s a tough game to swallow.”
In 10 previous starts vs. Atlanta, Glavine surrendered 48 earned runs in 55 innings for a 7.85 ERA.
Hudson went eight innings, extending to 11 straight starts in which he has lasted at least through the sixth. He gave up eight hits and two first-inning runs.
Hudson pitched 14 shutout innings to win his first two career starts against New York. Cliff Floyd ended New York’s drought with a run-scoring groundout and Wright came through with a two-out RBI single.
Glavine allowed only one hit through the first four innings, but the Braves broke through in the fifth. Langerhans singled with one out, moved to second on Hudson’s sacrifice bunt and came home on Furcal’s single up the middle.
Reitsma left with a strained left hamstring after giving up a single and a walk in the 10th. It wasn’t known if he would miss any time. The Braves are off Thursday. … Hudson picked up the 1,000th strikeout of his career by fanning Glavine in the fifth. … Several members of the New Orleans Fire Department attended the game. They received a standing ovation from the crowd when shown on the video board between the fifth and sixth innings. … Former teammates Glavine and John Smoltz of the Braves were picked as their teams’ recipients of the Roberto Clemente Award. They are now among the 30 nominees for the national honor, which recognizes sportsmanship and community involvement.
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