Mets record first win at expense of Smoltz
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
brought a brilliant performance by
to a screeching halt.
Beltran triggered a five-run eighth inning with a two-run homer as the
New York Mets
ended their longest season-opening losing streak in more than four decades with a 6-1 victory over the
Beltran's second home run of the season gave the Mets their first lead since Opening Day and ended a magnificent outing by Smoltz (0-2), who matched a career high with 15 strikeouts while walking none.
"It was a pretty good pitch," Smoltz said of his offering to Beltran. "That may be the first hit he's got off me. Obviously, I would have loved to have kept it in the park."
"I just was able to put it in play," said Beltran, who was 0-for-4 lifetime against Smoltz before the homer. "Smoltz was pitching a great ballgame. He threw me a slider. I was sitting on it."
Beltran capped the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth inning for New York, which began the season 0-5 for the first time since 1963.
relieved Smoltz after Beltran's homer and was greeted with a blast by
clubbed a two-run shot off
two batters later.
"It was not a good sign going into a game 0-5 against that dude," said Floyd, who struck out three times against Smoltz before connecting against Martin. "It wasn't fun. I sat on a splitter, (Smoltz) threw it, I missed it by a mile. That's not a good feeling as a hitter. I'm going to count the home run. I don't care if it's (off) Tom Arnold."
Smoltz departed after throwing 113 pitches and allowing two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings.
"I was just crying inside," Floyd said sarcastically, referring to Smoltz's exit. "He didn't look tired. He looked pumped and psyched. Smoltz was unbelievable."
The Mets' power surge made a winner of
(1-0), who retired the final 16 batters en route to his 43rd career complete game. Martinez allowed just two hits and struck out nine, moving past former Met
into 19th place on the all-time list with 2,774 career strikeouts.
"Everybody was like, 'We've got to get going,' and I joined them, too," Martinez said. "I wanted to get going and get the monkey off my back."
Martinez, who claimed the monkey on New York's collective back was five feet tall, kept Atlanta's hitters in check, allowing just a double by
and a triple by
"Pedro's Pedro," said Braves left fielder
, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. "You know you're going to be facing a Hall of Famer when you're out there. He comes right at you. He has great arm motion. He's just a great pitcher."
Estrada's double in the fourth inning plated the lone run for the Braves, who did not manage a baserunner thereafter.
Smoltz, who allowed seven runs - six earned - over 1 2/3 innings against the
on Monday in his first start since rejoining the rotation, also struck out 15 against the Montreal Expos on May 24, 1992.
"I didn't think about strikeouts at all today until I turned around and saw it was 15," Smoltz said. "I had four more hitters 0-2. I was looking for two more in the eighth."