Braves beat the Mets in 12

May 13, 2009 2:43:21 PM PDT
Martin Prado homered off Ken Takahashi with one out in the 12th inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 8-7 Wednesday after wasting three leads. Gary Sheffield tied the score in the eighth with his second home run of the season and No. 501 of his career, and the Mets bounced back after trailing 2-0, 4-2 and 7-6. Fernando Tatis hit a grand slam for New York, which stranded the potential tying run at third in the 12th.

Before a crowd of 40,555, the largest at Citi Field since the April 13 opener, the Mets lost for just the second time on an eight-game homestand. Manager Jerry Manuel said the team might make a decision after arriving in San Francisco whether to put first baseman Carlos Delgado on the disabled list because of an injured right hip.

With the score 7-all, Prado sent a 3-2 pitch from Takahashi (0-1) about six rows deep into the left-field seats for his second homer of the season. It was the first major league decision for Takahashi, a 40-year-old rookie who was New York's eighth pitcher of the day.

Jeff Bennett (1-1) got six outs to win the second extra-inning game at Citi Field, one day after ending the first with a 10th-inning walk to Carlos Beltran. Mike Gonzalez, who blew a ninth-inning lead Tuesday, pitched the 12th for his sixth save in eight chances.

Jose Reyes doubled leading off the bottom of the 12th, a drive about 1½ feet from the top of the high left-field wall. Luis Castillo sacrificed him to third, but Beltran struck out and Sheffield took a called a third strike.

A day after getting thrown out at third trying to stretch a double with the Mets trailing by a run in the eighth, Reyes was out trying to cross to third on a grounder to shortstop with the score tied and one out in the seventh. New York also hit into four double plays.

Tatis sent reliever Buddy Carlyle's second pitch over the center-field wall for a 6-4 lead in the fourth. It was the seventh slam for Tatis, who in 1999 became the first player to hit two in one inning.

Garret Anderson hit an RBI double in the fifth, then tied the score with a sacrifice fly in the seventh that followed David Wright's fifth error of the season. The third baseman took a step back and allowed Chipper Jones' two-hopper to go through his legs for a two-base error that put runners on second and third.

Doubles by Prado and pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson off J.J. Putz gave Atlanta a 7-6 lead in the eighth, but Sheffield homered on a chest-high pitch in the bottom half against Rafael Soriano.

Sheffield's other homer this season also tied a game at Citi Field, on April 17 against Milwaukee.

New York has just 14 homers to go along with 13 triples at pitcher-friendly Citi Field - Tatis' was just the Mets' third homer to center at the $800 million ballpark.

Jonathon Niese, who could be sent back to the minors when Tim Redding is ready to be activated from the disabled list, allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes gave up five runs, four hits and three walks in three-plus innings, raising his ERA to 6.58. He has allowed 16 runs over 14 1-3 innings against the Mets in four career starts.

Jones hit an RBI double in the first and scored on Anderson's single, but Reyes doubled leading off the bottom half, Castillo tripled and Sheffield hit a run-scoring, double-play grounder. Anderson and Matt Diaz gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead with RBI singles in the third.

Notes: Sounding a bit philosophical, Manuel said before the game: "Momentum in my opinion is something you can't really determine until it's past you." ... Atlanta had seven doubles.