Braves 7, Mets 1
Tony Gwynn: Mets are biggest early season surprise
No problem. After all, he had a huge season under similar circumstances last year.
With Chipper Jones and new shortstop Edgar Renteria sidelined this week, the Gold Glove center fielder is turning it up at the plate once again. He has four homers in his past three games and 22 RBIs already this year.
“We know they’re out, but we can’t make excuses about it. We just have to go out there and play our game and battle with the guys we’ve got,” Andruw Jones said.
Adam LaRoche also homered off Victor Zambrano and drove in three runs, helping the Braves bounce back from a 4-3 loss to Pedro Martinez in the series opener. Tim Hudson faces Tom Glavine in the finale on Wednesday.
“He was just dynamite,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Had all three pitches working.”
The 22-year-old right-hander struck out six and walked one in his 17th major league start. He threw 77 of 106 pitches for strikes and retired his final 10 batters in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 9 minutes.
“It’s unbelievable,” Davies said. “You almost doubt your stuff after the first two games. You don’t want to, but it’s always that doubt.”
He yielded only a third-inning homer to Chris Woodward and rebounded from a 7-6 loss to Philadelphia in his previous outing. Davies had lost four straight decisions dating to last season.
“He was fantastic,” New York third baseman David Wright said. “Obviously, it hurts us not having our big guys out there.”
Booed all night by the crowd of 30,322, Zambrano (1-1) gave up seven runs— all with two outs—and seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four.
“They call it a New York minute. They’ve got about a minute’s worth of patience,” Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said. “That’s part of the industry.”
The Mets still own the best record in the majors at 10-3.
Andruw Jones and LaRoche each finished with three hits. Jones also made a diving catch in the first inning.
“He’s off to another good start,” Cox said. “His defense is the same as it was when he was 19 years old: excellent. He made another good play tonight.”
Zambrano got in trouble almost immediately. He struck out Andruw Jones with runners at second and third in the first, but LaRoche followed with a two-out, two-run double to left.
Andruw Jones hit a two-run shot to center with two outs in the third.
“It blows my mind. We’d thrown him I think 17 or 18 straight sliders, and we throw him a fastball and he hits it out,” Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said. “Still amazing to me.”
LaRoche followed with his fourth homer of the year to make it 5-0.
Woodward connected leading off the bottom half, but New York never got close. In the fifth, Andruw Jones drove an 0-2 pitch from Zambrano over the left-field fence for another two-run shot and a 7-1 cushion.
“This is only my second game. It’s a long season,” Zambrano said. “I’m looking forward to being more consistent.”
It was the 31st career multihomer game for Andruw Jones, his first this season.
Braves 2B Marcus Giles left in the seventh with a sprained middle finger on his left hand. He was hurt sliding into second on a stolen base in the third. X-rays were negative, and Giles was to be re-evaluated Wednesday. … Davies also beat the Mets 3-0 last May. … Andruw Jones has knocked in at least one run in 10 of his 15 games this year. He has seven multi-RBI games. … Beltran did not start for the third straight game because of tightness in his right hamstring. Floyd sat out after straining a muscle in his left rib cage Monday night. Hernandez was scratched from the lineup not long before the first pitch due to back spasms. He was replaced by Woodward. … Mets 1B Carlos Delgado went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, ending his 11-game hitting streak. … LHP Pedro Feliciano worked three scoreless innings for New York.