NEW YORK (AP)—Just a minute before midnight, time ran out on the Atlanta Braves.
New York stranded 19 runners, fell behind by four runs in the seventh inning and were down by a run in the 11th. And still the Mets won.
“We had it won twice,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “We gave it up twice. It was a game we should have won.”
Not according to the Mets.
“We kept scrapping and clawing,” manager Willie Randolph said. “It was a big character win for us.”
Wright had three hits and was on base six times. Jose Reyes had a career-high five hits. Cliff Floyd had a tying home run in the 11th inning after the Braves had taken the lead on a pinch homer by Wilson Betemit against closer Billy Wagner. Beltran homered early and scored the winning run late.
“The resilience, the character, the makeup of this team,” Wright said. “We are not going to roll over.”
“We are never going to give in,” Beltran said. “That’s what we did today four different times with four different players.”
Beltran had walked in the 14th and advanced on Brian McCann’s passed ball.
“He didn’t know where it was, so I gave it a shot,” Beltran said. “It was pretty close.”
Wright’s winning hit came off Jorge Sosa (0-5), who had been scheduled to start Sunday.
The hit was the third of the night for Wright, who broke out of a 1-for-19 slump with four hits Thursday night.
The win was the third straight for New York and the third straight loss for Atlanta, dropping the Braves eight games behind the Mets in the NL East. New York (20-9) is 11 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2000 season.
Betemit hit his third homer of the season leading off the 11th. It was the third home run allowed by Wagner, who gave up just six all last season.
“When he hit it, I didn’t think it was gone,” Wagner said. “Where he hit it, I was shocked.”
Floyd, locked in a slump that had dipped his average below .190, tied it against Chris Reitsma with his third homer of the season. An inning later, Reitsma got Floyd to pop up with the bases loaded.
Reyes touched off the tying four-run rally in the seventh with a single and opened the eighth with his fifth triple of the season. But the Mets could not get him home, and the rally ended with Floyd grounding out with the bases loaded
Trailing 6-2, the Mets knocked starter Kyle Davies out in the seventh. Reyes opened with his fourth single and Paul Lo Duca doubled. An error by shortstop Edgar Renteria allowed one run to score, and Carlos Delgado singled home another. Floyd’s RBI single against reliever Ken Ray made it 6-5, and Kaz Matsui delivered a tying single.
Ray escaped further damage, getting 47-year-old pinch hitter Julio Franco to hit into an inning-ending double play.
McCann drove in a pair of runs with two hits and Marcus Giles had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice for the Braves.
Brian Jordan also had two hits and scored twice on McCann’s single and double as the Braves built a 6-2 lead.
Chipper Jones’ first-inning RBI was the 105th of his career against the Mets. … Renteria’s fifth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 21 games, 20 this season. … Reyes’ five hits marked the 26th time a Mets player has had five hits in a game. … Duaner Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings, stretching his scoreless streak to 21 innings. … Mets disabled list report: 2B Anderson Hernandez (disc) has started playing in the Gulf Coast League. RHP Brian Bannister (hamstring) has begun long toss regimen.