NEW YORK — Ike Davis hit a
450-foot shot for his first major league homer to win a matchup of
prize rookies and the New York Mets added a crazy run on Chipper Jones'
error Friday night in a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Emergency reliever Hisanori Takahashi
excelled after John Maine left with an odd injury, helping the Mets win
for the fourth time in five games.
Atlanta lost its third in a row. Nate
McLouth nearly tied it in the ninth, but his bid for a tying, three-run
homer off Francisco Rodriguez barely hooked foul.
Davis delivered a monster drive while
Atlanta newcomer Jason Heyward struck out three times in going 0-for-4.
Davis made it 1-all in the fifth inning by homering far beyond the
right-center field wall, and he briskly made his way around the bases
before getting an enthusiastic greeting in the dugout.
Normally a Mets nemesis, Jones hit an
early RBI single a day before his 38th birthday. But he let a foul pop
drop in the sixth for an error, then made a bigger mistake in the
seventh that triggered a beyond-bizarre play.
The Mets led 3-2 and had runners on
first and second with one out when Jose Reyes lifted a high popup. The
infield-fly rule was called, meaning Reyes was automatically out and
the runners could advance at their own risk.
Jones cut in front of shortstop Omar
Infante and the ball glanced off the glove of the All-Star third
baseman. The ball caromed to catcher Brian McCann, who saw Reyes
standing at first base — even though Reyes was out, players often lose
track of tricky rules.
McCann ran down the first base line
and flipped the ball to first baseman Eric Hinske, just to be sure.
When he did, Angel Pagan kept running from second and made a headfirst
dive home to beat Hinske's return throw to Jones. David Wright followed
with an RBI single for a 5-2 lead.
Takahashi (1-1) took over after
John Maine, a right-hander, left with two outs in the fourth with pain and a
muscle spasm in his left elbow. The 35-year-old rookie from Japan
struck out seven in three innings — along with his first major league
win, he singled in his first big league at-bat.
Rodriguez held on for his second save.
Reyes was moved into the third spot
in the batting order for the first time and responded by hustling for a
double and streaking for a triple.
Reyes and Jason Bay hit back-to-back
triples to the same deep part of right-center field in the sixth
against Kenshin Kawakami (0-3). Wright followed with a sacrifice fly
that made it 3-1.
Jones put Atlanta ahead 1-0 with a
two-out single in the third, and Heyward came to bat later in the
inning with the bases loaded. Instead of his first career slam, he
swung through an 89 mph fastball from Maine and struck out.
Atlanta made four errors. …
Slumping 1B Troy Glaus and SS Yunel Escobar did not start for Atlanta.
Manager Bobby Cox said he wanted to give them a break. … Reyes had
made 591 straight starts in the leadoff spot. Only two active players
had been in their same slot longer — St. Louis' Albert Pujols (1,023
times batting third) and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (896 at leadoff), the
Elias Sports Bureau said.