NEW YORK (AP) -- Jair Jurrjens had himself a pretty streaky night.
Jurrjens was perfect in the first two innings against the New York Mets on Friday. Then he walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded in the third. Then he retired his final 10 batters."It boosts my confidence up, coming back from a big jam like that," the 22-year-old rookie said after helping the Atlanta Braves to a 6-3 victory.Jurrjens (3-2) combined with four relievers on the first two-hitter against the Mets since Florida's on May 26, 2006, and also got his first major league hit ahead of Kelly Johnson's tiebreaking, two-run homer. Johnson had four RBIs for the Braves, who sent the Mets to their fifth loss in six games following a five-game winning streak."I don't think it's a slump at all. Sometime you sputter as a group," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We've got to kind of pick each other up and find a way to put the total game together so we can get rolling a little bit. We will. We will get going."Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox was smoking -- but it had nothing to do with Shea Stadium's new ban that prohibits cigars and the like. With Jurrjens angry at plate umpire Tim McClelland over ball-strike calls in the third, Cox came out of the dugout and was ejected for the 136th time, extending his major league record."They were close," Cox said. "He was around the plate, let's put it that way."Atlanta was ahead 1-0 and the Mets had the bases loaded with two outs in the third when Jurrjens got ahead 0-2 in the count against David Wright. The next pitch appeared to be over the outside corner, but McClelland called it a ball.When Jurrjens' 3-2 pitch was just outside and called a ball, the pitcher stretched his arms as if to say: "What's wrong with that?" McClelland then tossed Cox."I'm sorry about what I did, showing him up," said Jurrjens, who planned to personally apologize to McClelland on Saturday. "I know I did something wrong, and I'm really sorry about it. I got caught in the game. It was emotion and just reacting."Jurrjens fell behind Carlos Beltran 3-0 and walked him on five pitches, and he walked Ryan Church on seven. Jurrjens then threw a called third strike past Pagan, starting his streak of 10 straight outs. Jurrjens was taken out after six innings."He's so mature, it's unreal. He understands everything," Cox said.Atlanta tied it on Johnson's sacrifice fly in the fourth and Jeff Francoeur's RBI double in the fifth -- a drive that bounced against the wall, ricocheted off left fielder Angel Pagan and hit off the fence a second time.A 22-year-old rookie, Jurrjens had been 0-for-8 at the plate since coming up to the majors last August. He fouled off three straight 1-2 pitches with one out in the sixth, then singled up the middle off Mike Pelfrey (2-1) for the first hit by Braves pitchers in 40 at-bats this year. Johnson sent the next pitch over the right-field fence for his fourth homer this season and a 5-3 lead. Johnson added an RBI single in the seventh against Pedro Feliciano.Just after the Braves went ahead, a series of fights and food-and-beverage throwing altercations took place on two decks on the third-base side. Several fans were forcibly removed by security and one person was arrested for assault, New York Police Department spokesman Det. Kevin Czartoryski said."There were some good blows being thrown up there," Francoeur said.Pelfrey never had a 1-2-3 inning and gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. New York is a banged-up team, with pitchers Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez sidelined by injuries along with left fielder Moises Alou and catcher Brian Schneider."It's one of those early season challenges for us. We're facing some adversity," said Wright, hitless in his last 18 at-bats. "This is where the better teams prevail and the better teams find a way to win. We need to challenge ourselves and find a way to win tomorrow."
Atlanta SS Yunel Escobar shattered the fingernail of his right index finger when he was hit by a sinker when sacrificing in the first inning. X-rays were negative but he probably will be sidelined until at least Tuesday. ... Braves LHP Mike Hampton (strained left pectoral muscle) allowed three hits in three scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Richmond, throwing 50 pitches. ... Jurrjens allowed three runs, two hits and four walks in six innings, and Will Ohman, Blaine Boyer, Royce Ring and Manny Acosta finished. ... Mets 1B Carlos Delgado was given a night off from the starting lineup and struck out as a pinch hitter. He is in a 3-for-30 slide and batting just .195. "When you're struggling sometimes, maybe a nice little mental break might be good for you," Randolph said.