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Pedro strikes out eigth in 6 2/3 innings for 200th win

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pedro Martinez's 200th win meant a lot to the
New York Mets for another reason: It came against Atlanta.

Martinez became the seventh current major league pitcher with
200 victories, and New York edged the Braves 4-3 Monday night in
the first of 18 meetings this season between the NL East rivals.

"It's a great accomplishment," the slender Martinez said in
front of a large banner commemorating his milestone. "This is
probably one of the biggest things that's happened in my career,
because of how far I've come from the first day and all the doubts
about my body type."

Carlos Delgado and Xavier Nady each homered and drove in two
runs for the Mets (10-2), who improved the best record in baseball
and extended the fastest start in franchise history.

They did it without star center fielder Carlos Beltran, who sat
out with a tight right hamstring. New York also lost left fielder
Cliff Floyd to a strained muscle in his rib cage.

Andruw Jones hit his fifth homer and second in two days for the
Braves, missing injured third baseman Chipper Jones and shortstop
Edgar Renteria.

Tagged by Delgado again, Jorge Sosa (0-3) lasted only four-plus
innings.

Nady and Paul Lo Duca finished with three hits apiece for the
Mets, who have been chasing Atlanta for years. This season, they
think they have the talent to finally end the Braves' record run of
14 consecutive division titles.

"It's a big win. This is a big series. For April, this is as
big as it's going to get," Lo Duca said. "We've got to dethrone
these guys.

"When somebody has your number, you've got to play extra
hard," he added. "We need to turn the tide."

One game hardly proves much, but New York is playing some pretty
crisp ball right now. The new-look Mets already have a five-game
lead in the division over Atlanta and Philadelphia, making them the
first team in big league history to build a cushion that big after
12 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Obviously, the Mets have been hungry for a while to put us in
their rearview mirror," Atlanta's Marcus Giles said.

Martinez (3-0) struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three
runs and six hits. He left to a loud ovation and waved his arms to
the crowd of 36,867. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is
200-84, the fewest losses for any of the 103 pitchers with 200
wins.

Duaner Sanchez struck out two of his four batters, and Billy Wagner worked the ninth for his fourth save.

"It's always special to be a part of somebody's history,"
Wagner said.

Floyd was hurt while scoring on Nady's single and departed after
four innings. He was replaced by Jose Valentin.

"It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be," said Floyd,
who hopes to try to play Tuesday night. "I'm not really looking
forward to missing any games, especially with Carlos out. ... I was
a little bit more scared than anything because I did it last year,
too."

Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly put Atlanta ahead in the first, but
Nady connected in the second to tie it.

Giles doubled with two outs in the third and scored on a single
by Ryan Langerhans. Delgado's two-run shot to right put the Mets up
3-2.

Delgado is 14-for-27 (.519) lifetime against Sosa with seven
homers and 14 RBI.

"He just made a huge mistake to a guy who hits him hard,"
Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Floyd doubled leading off the fourth and came around on Nady's
single for a 4-2 advantage.

Jones homered over the left-field bleachers to start the sixth
and fell just short of a tying shot in the eighth. He has 18 RBI.

Game notes
The other current major league pitchers with 200 wins are
Greg Maddux (320), Tom Glavine (277), Randy Johnson (265), David
Wells (227), Mike Mussina (225) and Jamie Moyer (205). Roger
Clemens has 341 victories but has not pitched this season and has
not said if he intends to return or retire. ... Delgado extended
his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The Braves and Mets played the
first of nine games against each other in a span of 21 days.
Atlanta won the season series in 2005 (13-6) for the eighth
straight year. ... Nady hit his third homer in four days. Delgado
connected for the second consecutive game and the third time in
five days. ... Martinez's first win came with the Dodgers in relief
of his brother, Ramon, on May 5, 1993, against the Mets. ...
Martinez has won his first three starts for the third time in his
career. ... The Mets said they sold 13,000 tickets for this game on
Monday. During batting practice, the video scoreboard read "Pedro
Goes For 200" in English and Spanish, with a picture of Martinez
alongside.