Final in 10

Braves 6

(11-9, 4-5 away)

Mets 7

(12-5, 8-1 home)

    1:10 PM ET, March 22, 2005

    Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, Florida 

    12345678910 R H E
    ATL 0002040000 6 - -
    NYM 0000410101 7 - -

    New York 7, Atlanta 6

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Ramon Castro is embracing his new role as the New York Mets' backup catcher.

    Castro hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Mets a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

    Castro appears to have earned the backup role to Mike Piazza, who hit his first homer of the spring, after the Mets traded Jason Phillips to the Dodgers for Kazuhisa Ishii on Sunday.

    "I've still got to keep playing hard, no matter what, because I can really help them with my defense," Castro said.

    Braves starter Tim Hudson pitched four scoreless innings in his return after missing a start with a stiff back. Hudson allowed only three hits and did not walk a batter.

    Tom Glavine didn't fare as well for the Mets, allowing six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander gave up two home runs to Wilson Betemit and another to Ryan Langerhans.

    "I was bound to have a bad one (start) sooner or later, I guess, but I don't like having it all at once," Glavine said. "Part of the process down here is reacquainting yourself with making pitches when you're a little bit tired. I certainly have something to work on."

    Castro connected on a 1-1 slider off Atlanta reliever Chris Mears. The ball barely cleared the left-center field fence, giving the Mets their 12th win in 19 spring games.

    "I was running fast because I didn't think it was going to go out," Castro said. "The wind was blowing a little bit out, and I was thankful for that."

    Victor Diaz hit a three-run homer in the third, and Piazza homered off Gabe White to cut Atlanta's lead to 6-5 in the sixth inning.

    New York infielder Jeff Keppinger tied it at 6 in the bottom of the eight with a run-scoring single.

    Game notes


    The Mets also won in their last at-bat on Sunday, when Eric Valent hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Mets a 10-9 victory. ... Cliff Floyd received congratulatory greetings in the Mets clubhouse after returning from Toronto following the birth of his son. The left fielder played for the first time in a week and went 3-for-3, all singles, and stole a base against Atlanta. ... Kaz Matsui missed another game with discomfort in his upper back, but Mets manager Willie Randolph said he wasn't concerned and that the second baseman could have played ... Fashion designer Joseph Abboud was a guest of Mets owner Fred Wilpon on Tuesday. The Boston-based Abboud said, "Of course, I'm a big Red Sox fan, but I like the Mets, too. We both share a blood hatred of the Yankees."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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