Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Mets leads 1-0 (as of 8/19)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 19
NY Mets7
Game 2: Wednesday, August 20
NY Mets6
Game 3: Thursday, August 21
NY Mets5

Braves 3

(56-70, 22-39 away)

Mets 7

(69-57, 37-23 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 19, 2008

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 003000000 3 9 0
    NYM 20000005 - 7 8 0

    W: A. Heilman (3-7)

    L: J. Bennett (2-5)

    Mets have rare success with bases loaded, come back to beat Braves

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The Mets got big hits with the bases loaded and their bullpen was outstanding, for a change. If they keep that up, they'll have a much better chance of hanging on in the NL East.

    Carlos Delgado hit a go-ahead double off the left-center fence to end New York's long stretch of bases-loaded futility, and the Mets broke loose in the eighth inning to rally past Atlanta 7-3 Tuesday night.

    Fast Facts

    • The Mets, who were 34-35 under manager Willie Randolph, are 35-22 under manager Jerry Manuel.

    • Carlos Delgado's two-run double in the eighth inning snapped a teamwide 3-for-42 slump with the bases loaded.

    • Chipper Jones extended his hit streak to 10 games.

    • The Mets' bullpen didn't allow a run in 2 2/3 innings pitched.

    -- ESPN Research

    Damion Easley delivered a two-run single with the sacks full, and Ramon Castro added an RBI double to cap a five-run eighth against the Braves' bullpen.

    Delgado's clutch hit snapped New York's 3-for-42 skid with the bases loaded.

    "Sometimes we as hitters, as players, put a little too much pressure on ourselves," Delgado said. "You've still got to see the ball and hit the ball. It's not like he's going to make up a pitch with the bases loaded."

    One night after their six-game winning streak was snapped in Pittsburgh, the Mets won for the 10th time in 13 games and maintained their 1½-game division lead over Philadelphia.

    New York received a strong effort from its unsteady bullpen, including newcomer Luis Ayala, after getting more bad news about All-Star Billy Wagner.

    An MRI earlier in the day showed the injured closer has increased swelling in his left elbow, so he's out indefinitely. The Mets don't know when he might be able to return to the mound, if at all, this season.

    The eighth-inning outburst left Scott Schoeneweis to close this one out with a one-hit ninth in a non-save situation. Aaron Heilman (3-7) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

    "We just have to pick up the slack and do the best we can. At this point, I don't even know what else the organization can do," Schoeneweis said. "It's nice to be on the other end of one of those games. Someone else's bullpen gave it up and ours didn't. It's amazing how that works sometimes."

    Oliver Perez kept New York in the game by allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings against a lineup that had Omar Infante batting cleanup. Infante has three home runs this season.

    With the Braves trying to hold on for their first one-run win on the road since Aug. 9 last year at Shea Stadium, Jeff Bennett (2-5) walked consecutive batters with one out in the eighth.

    Carlos Beltran's dribbler for an infield single brought up Delgado, who popped out with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning Monday, keeping the score tied.

    This time, he drove left-hander Will Ohman's pitch the other way and clapped his hands as he cruised into second with the Mets up 4-3.

    "It's the toughest situation a bullpen can be put in and every reliever should crave it. I know I do," Ohman said. "I made a very below-average pitch to an above-average hitter and I paid for it. It doesn't matter how many times you get a guy out. The one time you don't stinks."

    Easley singled off Julian Tavarez, and Castro's double made it 7-3.

    Starting pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes stymied the Mets in his return from the minors, but Atlanta has lost eight of nine to fall a season-worst 14 games under .500.

    The Mets improved to 3-7 this year against the Braves. The longtime rivals met for the first time since May 22 in Atlanta, where the Braves finished a four-game sweep that left them ahead of New York in the standings.

    The teams have gone in opposite directions since.

    New York gave Perez a 2-0 lead, scoring in the first inning for the ninth time in 12 games.

    Jose Reyes drew a leadoff walk from Jo-Jo Reyes, went to third on Nick Evans' single and scored when David Wright hit a sacrifice fly. Fernando Tatis added a two-out RBI double.

    Jo-Jo Reyes started rolling from there, allowing only one more hit. He struck out five and walked three in six innings, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters.

    "I think I just got the jitters. It's a different atmosphere. Once I settled down, I did good," the left-hander said.

    Atlanta went ahead with three runs in the third. Perez walked leadoff batter Gregor Blanco, who scored on Chipper Jones' single. Brian McCann had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded and Jeff Francoeur added a sacrifice fly.

    Ayala made his Mets debut in the seventh, taking the ball with runners at the corners from Perez, his buddy from Mexico. Ayala knocked down Infante with his first pitch and escaped the jam by inducing a popup and an easy fly.

    "That probably kind of changed the momentum right there," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "To hold them right there probably was the turning point in the game."

    Ayala was acquired Sunday from Washington for a player to be named.

    Game notes

    Before Delgado's double, left-handed hitters were batting .169 against Ohman. ... Jones, who leads the majors with a .365 batting average, has hit safely in all 10 games since coming off the disabled list. ... New York is 16-5 at home since June 29. ... Jose Reyes walked three times, tying a career high. ... It was the first time since June 24 that Perez allowed more than one run in a start at Shea Stadium.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press