ATLANTA -- Derek Lowe was grateful the Braves pulled out their best power game of the young season for another series-opening win.
Alex Gonzalez hit two of Atlanta's four solo homers and the Braves finally provided some offense for Lowe, beating the skidding New York Mets 4-2 on Saturday in the opener of a doubleheader.Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman also connected for the Braves, who had six hits.The four homers were a season high for Atlanta and the most for the team since hitting four in a 16-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22, 2010.
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"It was good, it was needed," Lowe said. "It was kind of a struggle, a lot of line drives at people. I was not as sharp as I have been."Lowe (2-2) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He has a 1.82 ERA this season, but lost his previous two starts as the Braves were shut out by Milwaukee and Philadelphia.The Braves are 5-0 in series openers, but 1-8 in all other games."We need to get a couple guys on base and hit the home run," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.D.J. Carrasco (0-1) gave up four hits, including three homers, in 3 2/3 innings as a fill-in starter for New York, which lost its sixth straight game. The Mets were playing their second doubleheader in three days after getting swept by Colorado at home on Thursday."I felt good," Carrasco said. "It was an opportunity to give our bullpen a little bit of rest and help them out a little bit."The Mets have lost nine of 10 after winning three of their first four games. New manager Terry Collins noted the latest loss was competitive."I'd rather watch this than 11-0," Collins said, referring to a defeat at Philadelphia on April 7.Before the game, the Mets placed right-hander Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm. They did not immediately announce a replacement for Young to start on Sunday.Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth to earn his fourth save. With two outs, he gave up an infield single to Jose Reyes before getting Angel Pagan on a fly to center.The series opener was postponed by rain Friday night. The Mets were playing consecutive doubleheaders for the first time since Aug. 20-21, 1998, against St. Louis. Club officials called the commissioner's office Friday night, hoping to avoid a second straight twinbill, but the makeup game remained.Mike Pelfrey started the nightcap for New York against Jair Jurrjens.Players wore No. 42 jerseys as part of baseball's annual tribute to Jackie Robinson, originally planned for Friday night. Among those wearing No. 42 was Mets left fielder Willie Harris who, like Robinson, was born in Cairo, Ga.Harris drove in Carlos Beltran with a double off Lowe in the sixth, cutting it to 3-2. Josh Thole had a single and scored on Reyes' grounder in the fifth.The Braves began the day with 11 homers in 13 games.Alex Gonzalez has 16 of his 140 career homers against the Mets, more than any other team.Jones, whose history of success against the Mets is no secret, began the day with a .319 career batting average against New York. The homer was his 45th against the Mets, matching his total against the Phillies.Collins was pulling for Carrasco to last at least five innings, but the right-hander faded with two outs in the fourth. He gave up Alex Gonzalez's second homer of the game before walking Freeman and Lowe."He kept us in the game, gave us a chance," Collins said.Ryota Igarashi replaced Carrasco and ended the inning on Martin Prado's fly to center.Left-hander Pat Misch, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, pitched two innings, giving up Freeman's first homer of the season to make it 4-2.After the game, the Braves placed right-hander Peter Moylan on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, clearing a roster spot for Jurrjens.Jurrjens had been on the disabled list with an oblique injury.NOTES: Brian McCann and Dan Uggla were presented with their 2010 Silver Slugger Awards before the game. Tim Hudson collected his award for NL comeback player of the year. ... The Braves recalled RHP Jairo Asencio from Triple-A Gwinnett. C J.C. Boscan was sent back to Gwinnett. ... Mets LF Jason Bay, on the disabled list with a strained left rib cage, was to play a rehab game for Class A St. Lucie on Saturday night and could join the team on Tuesday.
Home Plate - Marty Foster, First Base - Manny Gonzalez, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Jeff Nelson
The Braves defeated the Mets in game 1 Saturday behind four solo homers.
The last time any team in MLB won a game with four runs or more, where all runs came on solo homers, was September 8, 2009, when the Phillies launched five solo shots to beat the Nationals 5-3.
The Braves have now done it four times since moving to Atlanta (1966), the last being on September 6, 1998... against the Mets. In fact, three of those four such games are versus New York.