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Braves rally past reeling Mets to complete sweep

ATLANTA (AP) -- Ryan Langerhans came through in the ninth inning.
Then he topped himself in the 10th.

The rookie outfielder hit a two-out, two-run single and the
Atlanta Braves rallied twice for a 4-3 victory over the slumping
New York Mets, finishing off a three-game sweep in stunning fashion
Wednesday night.

Langerhans was right in the middle of both rallies. He tied the
score at 2 with an RBI double off Braden Looper (4-7) in the ninth.

After inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out jam from Looper, Shingo
Takatsu was one pitch from giving the Mets a much-needed victory.

But Langerhans fought off one 3-2 pitch, then drove the next one
to the gap in left-center to bring home the tying and winning runs.

"It's tough enough to come up with one big hit," said Braves
starter Tim Hudson, who pitched eight strong innings. "For a guy --
especially a young guy -- to come up with big hits in back-to-back
innings, you hardly ever see that. I'm glad I got to see it on our
side."

This was a crushing blow for the Mets, who dropped 10½ games
behind the Braves in the NL East after squandering leads of 2-1 in
the ninth and 3-2 in the 10th.

"We should have won the game," Looper said. "I stunk it up."

Langerhans' last two at-bats were right from the textbook. In
the ninth, he fouled off three two-strike pitches before delivering
off Looper's ninth pitch, driving an opposite-field double to
left-center.

Langerhans did basically the same thing in the 10th, fouling off
a pitch he didn't like before finding one he could drive to the
identical spot as his previous hit.

"It feels great," Langerhans said. "I've been working on some
stuff, trying to really relax myself, working in the cage and in
(batting practice). Tonight was kind of the first night that I've
gotten to get in there. It's just one night, so I've got to keep it
going."

Teammate Chipper Jones was impressed.

"When you're up there fighting for your life, it takes a lot of
talent to foul pitches off and extend the at-bat until you do get a
ball you can hit," he said.

John Foster (4-1) got the win despite giving up Chris Woodward's
pinch-hit single in the top half of the 10th, which pushed the Mets
back ahead. Foster wasn't really at fault, taking over a
bases-loaded mess left by Chris Reitsma and Jim Brower.

It didn't matter. New York lost for the ninth time in 11 games
and fell to 4-19 in the regular season at Turner Field in September
and October, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tom Glavine pitched into the eighth, but the bullpen denied him
a rare win over his former team. The Mets slipped five games behind
wild-card leader Houston, which beat Philadelphia 8-6.

New York squandered a chance for more runs in the 10th. With the
bases still loaded after Woodward's blooper to center, Ramon Castro
lined out to shortstop Rafael Furcal, who flipped to second to
double off David Wright.

Looper couldn't even get an out in the 10th. Chipper Jones, who
had 34 homers and 102 RBI in his career against the Mets, led off
with a single to left. Andruw Jones was plunked in the back by
Looper. After falling behind 0-2 on two failed bunt attempts, Julio
Franco managed to coax a walk from Looper, loading the bases and
bringing on Takatsu.

The side-arming right-hander got Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann
on popups, but couldn't finish off Langerhans.

Glavine gave up only five hits and a run in 7 1-3 innings, but
his career record against the Braves remained 1-8. His only win
against his longtime team came on opening day in 2004.

"It hurts a little bit more at this time of year," Glavine
said, who was on the other side for plenty of Braves' wins over the
Mets. "It's a tough game to swallow."

In 10 previous starts vs. Atlanta, Glavine surrendered 48 earned
runs in 55 innings for a 7.85 ERA.

Hudson went eight innings, extending to 11 straight starts in
which he has lasted at least through the sixth. He gave up eight
hits and two first-inning runs.

Hudson pitched 14 shutout innings to win his first two career
starts against New York. Cliff Floyd ended New York's drought with
a run-scoring groundout and Wright came through with a two-out RBI
single.

Glavine allowed only one hit through the first four innings, but
the Braves broke through in the fifth. Langerhans singled with one
out, moved to second on Hudson's sacrifice bunt and came home on
Furcal's single up the middle.

Game notes
Reitsma left with a strained left hamstring after giving up
a single and a walk in the 10th. It wasn't known if he would miss
any time. The Braves are off Thursday. ... Hudson picked up the
1,000th strikeout of his career by fanning Glavine in the fifth.
... Several members of the New Orleans Fire Department attended the
game. They received a standing ovation from the crowd when shown on
the video board between the fifth and sixth innings. ... Former
teammates Glavine and John Smoltz of the Braves were picked as
their teams' recipients of the Roberto Clemente Award. They are now
among the 30 nominees for the national honor, which recognizes
sportsmanship and community involvement.