ATLANTA (Ticker) --
could not change the
New York Mets
' fortunes, but the way the
have been playing this month, it would have been a tall order to ask of anyone.
had three hits, including a homer, and four RBI and
and two relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Braves trounced the Mets, 8-0.
The Braves beat the Mets for the seventh time in the last nine meetings and torched one of New York's two key non-waiver trade deadline acquisitions. Making his first start for the Mets, Benson (8-9) was hammered for seven runs and seven hits in five innings.
The Braves opened an early 3-0 lead off of Benson in the third. Wright started off the inning with a single, advanced to third on a double by
, and scored on an RBI single by J.D. Drew.
plated Giles with a sacrifice fly and Drew scored on an RBI single by Estrada.
"We faced (Benson) three times in a two-week period," Estrada said. "With any pitcher, I don't care who you are, I think the hitter is going to have the advantage."
Atlanta put the game away with a four-run fifth. The key blow was Estrada's three-run homer that barely cleared the wall in right before bouncing back onto the field. Jones added an RBI single and scored his 1,000th career run on Estrada's homer.
"I knew I got under it," Estrada said. "I knew it was high, (but) I didn't know it was going out."
"I'm looking for a little break," said Benson, a native of nearby Marietta, Georgia. "It's a challenge to get these guys over and over. I think I got caught up (with facing them) three times in a row. I wasn't being a power pitcher. I was a finesse pitcher."
Wright (9-5) surrendered just three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six in seven innings. He leads the National League with a 1.77 ERA during night games and is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.42 ERA since his last loss on May 22.
"It's just been for me that when I start, whatever happens, happens and you get your four or five days (off)," said Wright, who also scored two runs - his first since 1998. "The big thing for me is to forget about what happened before."
tossed an inning apiece to complete the Braves' league-leading 10th shutout of the year.
The Braves were 20-6 in July - their best month since going 21-5 in June 2002. They finished the month with a major league-leading 2.42 ERA, lowered their team ERA to a major league-best 3.65 and turned what was a 3 1/2-game fourth-place deficit into a 4 1/2-game lead in the National League East Division.
"(Our starting pitchers) are unbelievable," Estrada said. "They're going out there and giving us six, seven, eight innings continually. It helps the offense."
The Mets, however, are going in the opposite direction. New York fell to 8-15 during a crucial 24-game stretch against NL East opponents and slipped a season-high eight games behind Atlanta.
"Every time we lose to these guys, it puts us a game back," Mets first baseman
said. "You hopefully have to come out tomorrow and scratch one out."