Swept Under: Mets Lose DoubleHeader

Pedro Astacio has not had much luck against the Atlanta Braves in his career (4-14). That trend did not reverse itself tonight, as he gave up three home runs, all of them with men on base, as the Braves beat the Mets 7-4.

Things started off well for the Mets. Esix Snead laid down a beautiful bunt to lead off the first inning, then stole second while Timo Perez was batting. He tagged up and went to third when Perez hit a fly ball to right. After Jeromy Burnitz fought off several very difficult pitches from Braves starter Kevin Millwood, Burnitz hit a ground ball to second, which enabled Snead to score and give the Mets the 1-0 lead.

That lead evaporated in the fourth inning. Marcus Giles led off the inning by scorching a ball down the third baseline. The Mets got a break when the ball hit third base and ricocheted over to the mound, keeping Giles at first base. The point became moot when Chipper Jones, the next batter, turned on an Astacio fastball and sent it into the Mets bullpen in right field for a two-run home run. 2-1 Braves. The well-traveled Darren Bragg then made it 4-1 when, after Javy Lopez had singled, he hit a 400-foot home run to left center. It was the 31st home run Astacio had given up this year, tying him with Brett Tomko for the major-league lead in home runs given up for the season.

Astacio then took the lead when he gave up a three-run home run to Javy Lopez in the sixth inning. 7-1 Braves.

The Braves were getting good pitching from Millwood, and also great defense. Bragg made a great sliding catch of a Timo Perez bloop. Wes Helms, normally an infielder, managed to survive running into a wall to snag a Burnitz drive, and Marcus Giles and Matt Franco combined to make a great play in the sixth. Giles caught a Vance Wilson ground-ball-smash, which spun him around in the process. He got his bearings and threw to first to a stretched-out Franco to get Wilson.

The Mets made it 7-2 in the seventh when Marco Scutaro hit a sacrifice fly to score Burnitz, who had been hit by a pitch and gone to third on Ty Wigginton's double.

Scutaro hit his first major league home run in the ninth, a solo shot. It made the score 7-4.


-Snead also showed good baserunning skills in the first inning by causing first baseman Wes Helms to drop the ball, which enabled Snead to get back to first after being picked off and subsequently caught in a rundown.
-Saturday's game will be at 7:10. Tom Glavine(18-11, 2.95) will start for the Braves and Al Leiter (13-12, 3.32) will pitch for the Mets.

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