Andruw Jones drives in two as Braves top Mets
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
proved he can drive in runs without hitting home runs.
Jones gave Atlanta a two-run lead with a grounder and a sacrifice fly, and
took care of the rest as the Braves posted a 3-1 triumph over the
New York Mets
, who fell to 20-50 all-time at Turner Field.
Jones, who leads the National League with 45 homers and 114 RBI, failed to record a hit Tuesday but made his outs count. With runners on first and third in the first inning, Jones hit a grounder to shortstop that resulted in a forceout but plated
, giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead against Mets ace
New York wasted a pair of opportunities before Jones, who was named NL Player of the Month for August earlier in the day, doubled Atlanta's advantage. The NL MVP candidate lifted a fly to right field with runners on the corners and one out, again scoring Furcal for a 2-0 edge.
"The one or two mistakes (Martinez) made, we took advantage of," Jones said. "I put the ball in play and got two RBI."
The two-run cushion was more than enough for Smoltz (14-6), who limited the Mets to one run, seven hits and one walk in seven innings. The All-Star righthander, who improved to 3-1 against New York this season, struck out two.
"It was a big game for us," Smoltz said. "I felt like I made a lot of good pitches. But the pitches I did make, they all got hit. We had two or three double plays that helped."
"He made some extremely good pitches with runners in scoring position," New York's
said. "It's not his first rodeo. You know you're not going to get a crippled fastball with men in scoring position."
worked a scoreless eighth and
struck out two in a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
An aggressive play by
resulted in the Braves' third run. With two on and one out in the sixth,
hit a dribbler to Martinez, who fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first for the out.
Running full speed from second base, Giles came around to score without a throw, giving Atlanta a 3-1 bulge.
"Obviously, it's a gamble play," Giles said. "If the catcher or first baseman alerts Pedro, I'm a dead duck."
"I don't think anyone was expecting it," Martinez said. "First thing I thought was, 'I've got Frano running, let me make a good throw at first.' That allowed (Giles) to score. I think that's the first time that's ever happened to me."
With the win, the Braves improved to 11-4 against the Mets this season, including a 7-1 mark at Turner Field.
"It seems like we can't seem to get a break in this ballpark," Mientkiewicz said. "That play by Giles is as good as it gets. That's why they win all their games."
Martinez (13-7) yielded three runs, five hits and two walks in six innings. The three-time Cy Young Award winner, who struck out two, lost for the fourth time in five decisions.
"(The Braves) actually made it happen today," Martinez said. "There was not really a hard-hit ball except for the double by Furcal (in the first inning). Somehow, they managed to make it happen and won the game. They didn't really hit the ball hard. There's nothing you can do."
The Mets, who fell four games behind Houston in the NL wild card standings, also scored their lone run on an out, as
came home from third on a grounder by Mientkiewicz.