ATLANTA (AP) -- Johnny Estrada's sixth-inning single broke a 2-2 tie and started a three-run rally that carried the Atlanta Braves
to a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets for a split of a doubleheader Tuesday night.
The Mets got strong pitching from starter Steve Trachsel to win the opener 2-1 on a pair of solo home runs by Gerald Williams and Eric Valent. The Braves trailed 2-1 in the nightcap when Nick Green opened the sixth with a single off Tom Glavine. Green moved to second on Eli Marrero's sacrifice and Chipper Jones was walked intentionally
before Estrada broke the tie with a single to center. After Adam LaRoche walked to load the bases, Wilson Betemit had a run-scoring single and Dewayne Wise followed with a sacrifice fly. Glavine (10-14) fell to 1-6 against his former team after giving
up five runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked three and
fanned three. The victory went to Roman Colon (2-1) gave up a tying run in the sixth on singles by Williams and Jeffrey Keppinger and a sacrifice fly by David Wright. John Smoltz pitched around Wilson Delgado's single in the ninth for his 42nd save in 47 chances. Delgado, who had a career-high four hits, knocked Jaret Wright out of the game in the third inning with a line drive off the
pitcher's right ankle. The right-hander had retired his first seven
batters. X-rays were negative and the Braves listed the pitcher as
day-to-day with a bruise. The Mets had taken a 1-0 lead on Wright's 13th homer in the
fourth. The Braves went in front 2-1 in the fifth on home runs by
LaRoche, his 11th, and pinch-hitter Marcus Giles, his eighth. After the opener, Trachsel said his second victory in a row over
the Braves would help him feel better going into the offseason. "Both were good," he said after handcuffing the Braves for six innings. "I changed a little bit tonight. I pitched inside a
little more tonight." Trachsel snapped a personal five-game losing streak on Sept. 16 when he beat the Braves in New York, and the two victories evened his record against the NL East champs this season to 3-3. Williams and Valent gave him all the offense he needed with
their solo homers. Williams broke a scoreless tie in the third with his fourth home
run, a deep drive to center off Paul Byrd. Williams had three of
the Mets' eight hits. After the Braves tied it at 1-all in the fourth, Valent put the
Mets on top again in the fifth with a shot to right. Jones drove in the lone Braves' run in the fourth inning. J.D. Drew walked and scored from first base on Jones' double into the
right field corner. It was the 96th RBI for Jones, who is trying to
reach 100 RBIs for the ninth consecutive season. Trachsel (12-13) pitched six strong innings, holding the Braves to one run on three hits. He walked three, struck out four and
worked out of a second-inning jam after Julio Franco led off with a
triple. "We didn't get to the playoffs," Trachsel said. "We're not
where we wanted to be. We're getting a look at the young guys. The
veteran guys just want to finish strong." Ricky Bottalico got two outs in the seventh before yielding a walk and giving way to Mike Stanton, who retired the only four Braves he faced. Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances. After walking Franco and allowing a single to
Charles Thomas, Looper retired pinch-hitter LaRoche on a fly to
left to end it. Three of Atlanta's four hits went for extra bases. Rafael Furcal led off the first with double, but Trachsel struck out Drew and
Chipper Jones to end the threat. After Franco's triple to center in the third, Trachsel retired Andruw Jones on a pop-up to first, Charles Thomas on a weak
comebacker to the mound and Eddie Perez on a line drive to center. Trachsel walked two in the sixth with one out, but Drew was
thrown out trying to steal second and Franco flew out to right. Byrd (8-6) gave up eight hits and fanned six in seven innings. "I made a few bad pitches," Byrd said. "The one to Williams
came in and went right down the middle. The one to Valent was a
changeup that hung too much."
Byrd had an 8-1 career record against the Mets before the
loss. ... Franco's triple was the 2,453rd hit of his career, moving
him one ahead of Jim Rice into 89th place on the career hit list.
... Stanton made his 81st appearance of the season, a Mets record.
... The second game victory was the 1,999th for Braves manager
Bobby Cox. ... The Mets loaded the bases with no outs in the
seventh inning of the nightcap but failed to score.