FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- A little bit of rest has done
a world of good.
Benson recorded his first shutout in more than four years and
each homered and drove in a pair of runs to lead the
New York Mets
to a 7-0 victory over the
also homered for the Mets, who collected 12 hits and won for just the fourth time in their last 24 games.
Acquired from the
on July 30, Benson (12-11) made six starts for the Mets before skipping a turn with what was termed a tired right shoulder. He returned to pitch six scoreless innings against Florida last week and was even better in this one.
"I felt good coming in after the game in Florida," Benson said. "I thought everything was going for me."
Benson retired the first 11 batters he faced before J.D. Drew hit a grounder through the legs of first baseman
, who was charged with his 13th error of the season. Atlanta recorded its first hit when
led off the fifth with a bloop single.
A base hit by
later in the inning put runners on first and second before Piazza redeemed himself with a diving stop on a soft liner by Atlanta starter
, ending the inning.
Benson allowed just four hits and did not walk a batter. He struck out seven to record his first shutout since blanking the Braves on June 15, 2000 - the only other shutout of his career.
"It is always a goal of mine, since the surgery, to go nine," said Benson, who underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2001. "Fortunately, it went my way this time. It was nice to get back to basics."
The only other complete-game shutout for the Mets this season was by
on May 23 against Colorado.
Benson was able to take at least some of the attention away from the ongoing saga of manager
, who met with owner Fred Wilpon and general manager Jim Duquette on Tuesday afternoon amid a published report that Howe would be fired at the end of the season.
"I don't bother myself with those thoughts," Howe said. "I was enjoying my night, enjoying the performance of my team."
Duquette said no decision has been made on Howe's status with the team.
Ortiz (14-8) allowed seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. The righthander, who yielded just seven home runs in his first 24 starts, has surrendered three in each of his past two outings.
"I felt OK," Ortiz said. "The few mistakes I made were costly."
also did not appear overly concerned.
"He's fine," Cox said. "I don't like the result, but he threw free and easy."
The Braves' magic number for clinching their 13th straight division title remained at 13.
Wright led off the second with his 12th homer to left field and added a run-scoring single in the fifth that made it 4-0.
Valent lined a homer to right field to lead off the fourth and Floyd followed one batter later with his 18th blast.
, Floyd and
had consecutive RBI singles in the sixth.