Braves Digest: 4/12

<U><B>Mets 10, Braves 6:</B></U> Steve Trachsel had a strong outing on the mound and at the plate, leading the Mets to a 10-6 win over the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium in New York's home opener. <BR> <BR> <U><B>Minor League Quicks:</B></U> A rainy night in the South as Myrtle Beach and Richmond are rained out - Rome also began later after a two hour rain delay; Greenville loses their 5th straight.

Trachsel (1-1) surrendered just one run on four hits, while striking out three. He had solid control on the day, walking just two in six innings of work. Sixty of the 91 pitches Trachsel threw were for strikes. He also contributed with the bat, registering a pair of RBI.

Braden Looper recorded his second save in as many days, getting Andruw Jones to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.

Prior to the game, New York placed left fielder Cliff Floyd on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps. He was hurt while legging out an infield single Sunday against the Montreal Expos in Puerto Rico.

Mike Piazza also sat out because of a sore right elbow after a collision with Peter Bergeron at first base during Sunday's contest. The Mets were already without second baseman Jose Reyes and right fielder Karim Garcia, both with injuries.

That left Ricky Gutierrez, Shane Spencer and Todd Zeile as the 2-3-4 hitters in New York's injury depleted lineup. The three combined to go 5-for-13 with two RBI as New York outhit the Braves 13-10.

Kazuo Matsui and Mike Cameron each had two RBI for the Mets, who have won two straight and three of their last four contests. Jason Phillips and Joe McEwing also chipped in with an RBI each.

Mike Hampton (0-1) suffered the loss as he got roughed up for seven runs on nine hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

Johnny Estrada smacked a three-run home run and J.D. Drew added a solo home run for the Braves, who have dropped two straight.

New York cracked the scoreboard in the first courtesy of an RBI by Cameron. Spencer and Zeile connected on back-to-back two-out singles. Cameron followed with a single to left, scoring Spencer for a 1-0 lead.

The Mets added two more runs in the second, highlighted by Trachsel's RBI double. Ty Wigginton started the frame with a single and advanced to second on Joe McEwing's groundout on the ensuing at-bat. Wigginton than crossed home plate on Trachsel's two-base hit to left. Matsui followed with a base hit to shallow center that scored Trachsel for a 3-0 edge.

New York tacked on four more run in the third, staking the Mets to a 7-0 cushion. Zeile, who started the frame with a single, moved to second on Phillips' hit and would later score on a wild pitch by Hampton, who was trying to intentionally walk Wigginton when the pitch got away. With Wigginton on first Hampton issued a free pass to McEwing, loading the bases. Trachsel's groundout forced home another run and Matsui followed with an two-run double that scored Wigginton and McEwing.

Hampton's day was done after that, as the left-hander gave way to Antonio Alfonseca, who didn't fare any better and allowed two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.

New York continued to pound the baseball, adding two more runs in the fourth and one in the fifth for a commanding 10-0 margin. Cameron drove home Zeile and later scored on Phillips' single to account for the fourth-inning runs. Matsui then scored on Spencer's RBI double in the fifth.

Atlanta finally broke through in the sixth on Julio Franco's RBI groundout, scoring Drew. Drew would later add his first home run as a Brave in the eighth and Estrada smacked a three-run blast later in the frame, making it 10-5.

The Braves continued to make it interesting in the ninth as they loaded the bases off of Dan Wheeler. Eddie Perez was called in to pinch-hit for Drew and delivered a one-out RBI single scoring DeWayne Wise to cut the deficit to 10-6.

However, the rally ended on Andruw Jones' double-play after New York manager Art Howe had to turn to Looper.

Game Notes:

Former Mets Tom Seaver and Jerry Grote, Knicks greats Willis Reed and Walt Frazier and ex-Jet Emerson Boozer all threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. The Mets honored New York's 1969-70 championship teams...Braves manager Bobby Cox said Chipper Jones and Rafael Furcal could return to the lineup Wednesday...New York improved to 27-16 in home openers, including 27-14 at Shea Stadium.

Minor League Recaps

RICHMOND BRAVES, INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS - PPD - Monday's 7:00 p.m. game between the Indianapolis Indians and Richmond Braves was postponed due to rain. The game has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader to be played at The Diamond on Tuesday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m.

MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS, WINSTON SALEM WARTHOGS - PPD - This evening's game between the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and the Winston Salem Warthogs was rained out. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 12pm.

JACKSONVILLE SUNS 5, GREENVILLE BRAVES 2 - The Greenville Braves are still winless on the 2004 season, losing 5-2 to the Jacksonville Suns Monday to lose their fifth straight game.

Greenville scored a run in the first inning on a RBI single by Billy McCarthy plating Adam Stern. The Suns bounced back for a run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at one. Then Jacksonville scored three runs in the fourth inning off of Greenville starter Zach Miner on a three run home run.

Jacksonville got an insurance run off of G-Braves reliever Kevin Barry in the seventh inning. Greenville could only manage one more run on another RBI hit from Billy McCarthy in the eighth inning.

Miner (0-2) did not pitch poorly, going four innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and striking out seven.

The G-Braves play game two of their series against the Suns Tuesday night in Jacksonville at 7:00. Macay McBride will have his second start of the season.

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