Series: Game 3 of 3

Atlanta won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 23
NY Mets6Final
Game 2: Saturday, May 24
NY Mets4Final
Game 3: Sunday, May 25
NY Mets1Final

Mets 1

(22-28, 9-17 away)

Braves 3

(34-16, 17-8 home)

    1:05 PM ET, May 25, 2003

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

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    W: R. Hernandez (4-1)

    L: D. Weathers (1-4)

    S: J. Smoltz (19)

    Giles breaks out of mini-slump with key homer

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Marcus Giles picked the perfect spot to end what had been a dreadful series.

    Marcus Giles

    Giles hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth and Greg Maddux pitched seven scoreless innings Sunday as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 3-1.

    Giles had been 1-for-12 in the three-game series until he unloaded off reliever David Weathers (1-4).

    "Yea. It's definitely no secret I did nothing this series. I had a couple of bad games,'' Giles said. "Last night I was absolutely awful at the plate.''

    Giles went 0-for-5 in Saturday's 10-4 win over the Mets, the only starter to go hitless.

    "So it was nice to contribute. Obviously in that situation I wasn't trying to hit a home run. I was just trying to get on base with (Gary) Sheffield and Chipper Jones coming up next,'' he said.

    After Jeromy Burnitz hit a game-tying solo shot in the top of the eighth off Roberto Hernandez (4-1), the Braves regained the lead in the bottom half.

    Rafael Furcal singled with two outs against Weathers to start the rally.

    "Give a lot of credit to Furcy. I think he was really worried about him (stealing second) and made a little bit of a mistake to me,'' Giles said.

    Giles then hit his seventh home run of the season.

    "You have to keep the runner close in that situation. I tried to make the best pitch I could, and he beat me,'' Weathers said.

    John Smoltz pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 20 attempts. Smoltz, who hadn't pitched since last Sunday, extended his major league record for pitching in consecutive team victories to 72. He last was in a losing game on May 29, 2002, a 4-3 loss to Montreal.

    The Braves took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Andruw Jones in the fifth inning, the first hit off rookie right-hander Jae Seo, who allowed only one other hit before leaving after seven innings.

    Jones, who also homered Saturday, hit a 2-1 fastball 395 feet over the left field fence for his 13th home run of the season.

    Burnitz's second homer of the series on a 1-0 pitch drew boos from the season-high crowd of 41,432, and took a win away from Maddux.

    "You're going to get cheered and you're going to get booed. It didn't bother me,'' Hernandez said. "What bothered me was that Greg went out there and pitched seven great innings. I didn't want to go 2-0 on Burnitz. It wasn't a bad pitch, but it turned out to be the wrong pitch.''

    Maddux allowed three hits, didn't walk any and struck out three in seven innings. The four-time NL Cy Young winner threw 84 pitches -- 52 for strikes -- and retired the last 11 hitters he faced. He lowered his ERA from 5.54 to 4.99 after going 0-2 with a 7.41 ERA in his previous three starts.

    "I'm not disappointed,'' Maddux said. "It's not about results but about pitching. I kept our team in the game and I'm glad we won.''

    The Mets' bullpen once again failed to come through. The relievers have 14 of the team's 28 losses -- second most in the majors. "I messed it up and it cost the team a game. It gets old,'' Weathers said.

    Game notes

    Maddux is 29-16 in his career against the Mets -- the most wins against any club -- and hasn't lost to New York since Sept. 28, 2000. He's 3-0 in his last seven starts against the Mets. ... Atlanta's Gary Sheffield had a 12-game hitting streak snapped, going 0-for-4. He was robbed of a hit in the fourth on a diving catch by Mets' 3B Ty Wigginton, who turned it into a double play with Giles running on the play. ... Braves' 3B Vinny Castilla doubled and went to third in the fifth inning when Mets' RF Roger Cedeno caught a fly ball from Henry Blanco and thought it was the third out. It was only the second out, but Cedeno got off the hook when Maddux popped out for the final out of the inning.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press