should have had more than one All-Star this year.
proved again against the
New York Mets
that he is closing games like a star.
Jones drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Soriano capped three scoreless innings by Atlanta's bullpen as the
Braves beat the Mets 5-3 on Thursday night.
''He's been automatic, every time out,'' Jones, a six-time All-Star, said of Soriano. ''He should have been an All-Star. I
can't believe he didn't make it.''
Jones' two-out fielding error in the ninth on
's grounder to third kept Soriano from his seventh 1-2-3 inning in his last nine appearances. He lowered his ERA to 1.44 and
has 13 saves in 14 chances.
Soriano struck out pinch-hitter
to end the game with a 96 mph fastball.
and Soriano combined to give up only one hit in three scoreless innings.
was the Braves' only All-Star in Tuesday night's game.
The Braves broke a 3-3 tie against the New York bullpen, which gave up two runs in two innings.
(2-3) walked pinch-hitter
, who advanced to third on
's hit-and-run single to left off
. Jones, a .330 career hitter against the Mets, drove in Conrad with a single to right off Parnell to give the Braves a 4-3
''You expect Chipper to deliver every time,'' Braves manager
The win left the Braves (44-45) one game under .500 and 1 1/2 games ahead of the fourth-place Mets (42-46) in the NL East.
''This is a big series,'' Jones said. ''It's a chance for us to play a good team. They're in our rearview mirror now. Hopefully
we keep them there. You certainly want to get the second half kicked off on the right foot, and tonight was a good one.''
added a run-scoring single off
, New York's third reliever, in the eighth.
acknowledged the team's first series after the All-Star break ''is huge for us.''
''We wanted to come out of the gate and play well,'' Manuel said.
''We didn't beat ourselves. We got a good effort from (Oliver) Perez. Hopefully, this will be a springboard for the rest of
our starting pitchers.''
and Perez each gave up five hits and three runs in six innings. Perez walked four and struck out six, while Lowe walked three
and struck out two.
was 0 for 4 with an RBI in his return to Atlanta following Friday's trade to the Mets. He tipped his cap in response to the
cheers from fans in right field in the first inning and received a loud ovation before lining into a double play in his first
''It was a little bit of a distraction,'' Francoeur said of his return. ''It was a different experience. It was fun.''
, who came to the Braves in the trade, did not start. He came in the game in the eighth as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement
, who had three hits, including a homer.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second on back-to-back homers by
The Mets scored three runs in the fourth.
opened the inning with three straight singles to drive in the first run. Francoeur's groundout drove in Wright, and
added a run-scoring double.
tied the game with a two-out double in the fourth. McCann, who singled, scored from first on a headfirst slide with his hand
touching the plate just before the tag from Schneider.
''That's probably the first run I've ever scored on a double down the left-field line,'' McCann said. ''I felt like if I slid
feet first he'd have got me.''
NOTES: The Mets selected the contract of IF
from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. Berroa, 31, was signed as a minor league free agent on Saturday after he was designated
for assignment by the Yankees on June 24. ... Escobar and Anderson hit the Braves' first back-to-back homers this season.
... Norton snapped an 0-for-11 slump with his first hit since June 5.