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Davis' 3-run homer leads Mets past Braves

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA - Atlanta pitcher Tommy Hanson had thrown almost all curve balls to Ike Davis in their previous matchups. On Monday, though, Davis got hold of one for a three-run homer to lead the New York Mets to a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

They Met have beaten the Braves four times in four tries this season.

Monday was the first time the Mets failed to hit a first-inning home run in four games, but they made up for it with Davis' homer with two outs in the top of the sixth, and Jason Bay's solo shot to lead off the ninth.

"I've struck out almost 80, 90 percent of the time I've faced him," Davis said of Hanson. "It was a pretty good curve ball. It's just, I hit it."

"That was a pitch I wanted to make," Hanson said. "He put the barrel on it."

Neither team was expecting the kind of thumping the New Yorkers administered in their three-game sweep of Atlanta in the opening series the first week of the season at Citi Field. And through five innings, only five balls had been hit to the outfield -- four by the Mets and one by the Braves.

Jack Wilson was robbed of a home run in the fifth when Bay pulled the ball back into the park.

"It was like deja vu," said Bay, who made an almost identical play last season against then-Brave Alex Gonzlez. "Same spot, same ball. Robbing homers isn't a huge part of my game."

That would have been Wilson's second RBI. He drove in a run on a ground-out in the second inning.

The Mets tied the game 1-1 on their own ground-out in the third by Ruben Tejada, and it was an unearned run after Hanson threw the ball away on a pick-off attempt at first base..

It was that kind of night for Hanson, whose wild pitch in the seventh allowed Josh Thole to score. Still, he pitched seven innings, the third consecutive game the Braves starter pitched seven innings after no Atlanta starter in the season's first seven games managed to pitch more than five innings.

Dillon Gee got Mets-killer Chipper Jones to ground out three times, and Jones flied out off John Rauch in the eighth.

Jason Heyward, the only other Braves regular besides Jones with a batting average above .300, was 2-for-3 and also got on base on a catcher's interference.

"I don't think this is just a nice little start for that team," said second baseman Dan Uggla, who had one of the Braves' five hits. "They're a good solid ballclub."

Notes: LF Jason Bay was back in the Mets lineup after missing Sunday's game with a jammed right ring finger. The swelling was down, and he was able to grip a bat and swing when he tested it before Monday's game. . . . Mets manager Terry Collins is trying to find a time to give SS Ruben Tejada a day off. At the moment he's eyeing Wednesday's day game. . . . Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave 1B Freddie Freeman and SS Tyler Pastornicky the day off. INF/OF Eric Hinske, the last position player to get a start this season, was at first base. Veteran SS Jack Wilson, who has been used mostly in late innings for defense, started at short. . . . The Braves announced that they will retire former RHP John Smoltz's number 29 in a ceremony on June 8, joining teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. "I can't think what life would be like without those two," Smoltz said in a conference call with reporters.
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