ATLANTA (AP) -- The last time the Mets swept a three-game series
in Atlanta, both teams were headed for last-place finishes.
The Mets are in position to make much more of this sweep of the
Carlos Beltran hit two homers, including his third grand slam in
July, and New York completed its first sweep of at least three
games in Atlanta in 21 years, beating the Braves 10-6 Sunday.
The Mets swept a four-game set in Atlanta from July 4-7, 1985.
Their last sweep of any series was a two-game set May 1-2, 1989.
The Mets are 8-4 against the Braves this year, including a 5-1
mark at Turner Field. It is a notable turnaround from last year,
when the Mets were 1-8 at Atlanta. Entering the season, the Mets'
all-time record in Atlanta was 110-151.
"We came in here and did what we wanted to do, and then some,"
said Mets starting pitcher Tom Glavine, the former longtime Braves
pitcher. "We haven't had success here over the years. To come in
here with this type of setting with them wanting to get back in the
race, sweeping them is certainly huge in that regard."
Beltran's second inning slam was the Mets' major league
record-tying sixth of the month. The Montreal Expos hit six grand
slams in April 1996 and Cleveland matched the record in May 1999.
He is the ninth player to hit three slams in a month and the first
since Milwaukee's Devon White in May 2001.
Beltran added another homer, his 32nd, off Jason Shiell in the
fifth inning. He had four homers in the three-game series.
"I've seen enough of him for my career," said Braves first
baseman Adam LaRoche of Beltran.
Beltran has eight homers and 18 RBI in eight games against the
Braves this season.
"Carlos has been unconscious," said Mets manager Willie
Randolph. "He stepped up big-time for us.
Beltran is hitting .282 with 32 homers and and an NL-leading 94
"I was really happpy I did it," Beltran said.
"I feel good at the plate. ... Four homers [in the series] is a
great feeling, but what is most important is to play well and win
against a team in our division."
The sweep left the Braves (48-56) eight games below .500.
Delgado had four hits, including a two-run homer, and Reyes had
three hits and scored three runs for the Mets, who had a
season-high 19 hits.
The Mets led 7-0 following Beltran's second-inning slam, but
still Glavine couldn't stay in the game long enough to qualify for
Glavine, who has two losses and five no-decisions in his last
seven starts, gave up 10 hits and six earned runs in only four
innings, his shortest outing of the season. He walked three batters
while matching his season high for runs allowed.
Darren Oliver (4-0) pitched a scoreless fifth inning while
Billy Wagner recorded the final four outs for his 22nd save in
26 chances. Wagner struck out LaRoche with runners on first and
second to end the eighth inning.
Beltran's slam knocked Braves starter Chuck James (4-2) out of
James suffered his shortest start and his second straight loss
after winning his first four starts. The left-hander gave up seven
hits and seven runs with two walks. He was lifted after giving up
singles to Glavine and Reyes and walking Paul Lo Duca before
Beltran's slam, a line-drive shot to left field.
"You give up seven runs the first two innings, you're gonna get
beat, in most cases," Cox said.
Delgado's first-inning homer, his 26th, drove in Reyes, who led
off with a single. Delgado started after leaving Saturday night's
game with a bruised right knee.
The Braves scored three runs in the second. Willy Aybar, who had
four hits while batting leadoff in his first start since coming to
the Braves in a trade from Los Angeles on Friday night, hit a two-run
single, driving in Brian McCann and LaRoche. Aybar scored on a
single by Edgar Renteria.
The Mets added a run in the third on Delgado's bases-loaded walk
Beltran's second homer, a high shot off Shiell deep into the
right-field seats, pushed the lead to 9-6 in the fifth inning.
Danys Baez gave up two hits but pitched out of the eighth-inning
jam in his Braves debut. Baez came to Atlanta with Aybar in the
deal that sent Wilson Betemit to Los Angeles.
Aybar started for Chipper Jones, who was placed on the
15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. ... LF Cliff
Floyd, held out of the starting lineup with a sore Achilles',
struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. ... The Mets'
last three-game sweep in Atlanta was Aug. 14-16, 1979 at
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.