DeRosa Beats Franco in 9th, Braves Get 3-2 Victory

The personnel may change on a daily basis, but one thing remains constant: the Mets find new ways to lose every day. John Franco entered in the ninth and proceeded to load the bases before Mark DeRosa's check-swing single to the right side sent the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday evening inside Turner Field.

"I think I've gotten three hits like that in the last three games," DeRosa said to the Associated Press. "I think they've totaled a groundball to short."

John Franco (0-2) took the loss as the second-half of the season began.

Rafael Furcal and Vinny Castilla each added three hits, Robert Fick added an RBI, and Greg Maddux hurled a complete game as the Braves (62-32) won for the tenth time in eleven games.

Greg Maddux (8-8) pitched a complete game -- his first in exactly two years -- and used 104 pitches, surrendering eight hits and two runs while walking just one and striking out three.

"Obviously, you'd like to nine more than once every two or three years," Maddux said to the Associated Press. "But when you're pitching (poorly), you can't stay out there that long."

With one out in the top of the first, the Mets took the lead when Jeff Duncan tripled into right field setting up Cliff Floyd's RBI single into left.

Andruw Jones began the bottom of the fourth by singling into centerfield and after Robert Fick flew out, Vinny Castilla tripled to drive in the run and tie the score. Fick handed Atlanta a 2-1 edge in the sixth with a base hit of his own.

New York (40-54) knotted it back up after Ty Wigginton deposited his seventh homer of the year over the left field fence.

Gary Sheffield had the chance to put the Mets away in the seventh against David Weathers, but with the bases loaded he grounded into an inning ending double play. Cliff Floyd had an opportunity to do the same in the eighth, but he also grounded into a double play to end the frame.

The Mets had a new look, after trading away both Armando Benitez (Yankees) and Jeromy Burnitz (Dodgers) over the All-Star break.

"That's ancient history," New York manager Art Howe said of the trades to the Associated Press. "We're going with these people and see how it goes."

Steve Trachsel -- after giving up seven earned runs and eight hits in 1 2-3 innings in a 7-2 loss against the Phillies last Thursday -- tossed seven innings, allowing eight hits and two runs while walking two and fanning.

Notes
1B Jason Phillips is 8-for-18 over his past five games... The Mets recalled OF Prentice Redman and INF Jorge Velandia from Triple-A Norfolk prior to the game... 2B Marcus Giles missed his third straight game with a concussion, but Cox said he was available to pinch-hot... RHP Jae Seo (5-5, 3.64) opposes LHP Mike Hampton (5-5, 4.85) on Friday evening...


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