Special Met 4th does in Braves
Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:28 pm
By: By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — After failing to get a bunt down with two on in the fourth inning, pitcher Oliver Perez lined a two-strike single to right field.
That’s when Gary Sheffield had a good idea the Mets were in the middle of something special.
Sheffield doubled twice in an eight-run fourth and New York battered Derek Lowe, rebounding from an early deficit Tuesday night for a 9-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
“Even Perez got a hit,” Sheffield said. “I knew it was going to be big. That was the clue.”
Luis Castillo also had two hits and two RBI during the surprising outburst against Lowe (12-8), who was 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his previous seven starts.
The Mets reeled off 10 hits in the fourth, setting a franchise record for one inning.
“That was a lot of fun,” Jeff Francoeur said. “You just keep pounding balls into the gap. The one thing you don’t want to do is hit a home run. That’s a rally-killer.”
Done in by a relentless string of singles and doubles, Lowe squandered a comfortable cushion against an injury-depleted lineup missing four top hitters.
“It’s tough. You’ve got a 4-0 lead with your ace on the hill, the farthest thing from your thought process is what happened there in the fourth,” Atlanta’s Chipper Jones said. “They hit some balls hard and they hit some balls not so hard that found holes.”
The Mets batted for 29 minutes in the fourth. It was their most runs in an inning since they also scored eight in the third on Aug. 13, 2008, at Washington.
Lowe yielded 11 hits in 32/3 innings without a walk or strikeout. It was the first time he allowed eight runs in an inning.
“I couldn’t stop it. When you have non-competitive stuff, it’s pretty tough to stop it,” Lowe said. “Even when it was hit on the ground, it’s hit hard.”
All that Mets offense bailed out Perez (3-3), who won for the first time in seven starts since July 8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The erratic lefty gave up a three-run homer to Matt Diaz and a solo shot to Adam LaRoche, but walked only one in five innings.
The Braves, who had won nine of 12, fell 61/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East and four back of Colorado in the wild-card race.
“The fact of the matter is, they never stopped playing,” Atlanta outfielder Garret Anderson said.
Dodgers 7, Cardinals 3
At Los Angeles, Chad Billingsley (12-6) allowed three hits over six innings and added an RBI single as the Dodgers snapped St. Louis’ five-game winning streak.
Andre Ethier went 3-for-4 with a triple and a run-scoring double for the Dodgers, who improved the NL’s best record to 71-49 with their fourth win in 11 games. Jonathan Broxton got four outs for his 26th save.
Padres 6, Cubs 3
At San Diego, Kyle Blanks hit an inside-the-park homer and Cesar Carrillo (1-1) earned his first major league win.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his 33rd homer, off Ryan Dempster (6-7), and Heath Bell earned his 30th save. Chicago lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
Phillies 5, D’backs 1
At Philadelphia, Jamie Moyer pitched six scoreless innings in relief of Pedro Martinez, whose home debut was ruined by a 66-minute rain delay.
Martinez allowed one run in three innings in his second start since returning to the majors.
He struck out three and retired the last eight batters he faced, but left after the long delay.
Pitching in a steady rain, Moyer (11-9) gave up two singles and struck out five in his first relief appearance in five years.
He chipped in with two hits.
Marlins 6, Astros 2
At Houston, Ricky Nolasco struck out 10 in his second complete game this season and Florida had 10 hits for the 14th consecutive game.
Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu and Jeremy Hermida hit solo homers for the Marlins, who have won nine of 11.
Florida’s streak of 10-hit games is the longest since the 1937 St. Louis Browns reached that figure in 15 straight, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Nolasco (9-8) retired 23 in a row after Carlos Lee’s two-run homer in the first.
Rockies 4, Nationals 3
At Washington, Carlos Gonzalez homered for the third consecutive game, breaking an eighth-inning tie for Colorado. Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes also connected for the NL wild-card leaders.
Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9) went eight innings to win his fifth straight decision. Huston Street got his 30th save.
Pirates 5, Brewers 2
At Pittsburgh, Ross Ohlendorf (11-8) allowed one run over seven-plus innings, and Delwyn Young and Lastings Milledge homered for the Pirates. Brewers slugger Prince Fielder homered for the third consecutive game to give him 32 and a major league-leading 108 RBI.
Giants 8, Reds 5 (10)
At Cincinnati, Ryan Garko’s two-run double off Francisco Cordero (1-3) in the 10th completed San Francisco’s comeback from a four-run deficit.
Garko finished with four RBI, as many as he had in his first 17 games after being acquired from Cleveland on July 27. Brian Wilson earned his 29th save.