Jurrjens, Braves Blank Mets 4-0 For DH Sweep
By Charles Odum
ATLANTA (AP) Jair Jurrjens threw seven sharp innings in his return from the disabled list and the Atlanta Braves shut out the struggling New York Mets 4-0 Saturday night to complete a doubleheader sweep.
Jurrjens combined with George Sherrill and Scott Linebrink on a two-hitter.
In the opener, Alex Gonzalez hit two of Atlanta’s four solo homers and the Braves finally provided some offense for Derek Lowe in a 4-2 victory.
The Mets were swept in a doubleheader for the second time in three days to extend their losing streak to seven games, their longest since dropping 11 straight in 2004. Colorado swept the Mets in New York on Thursday.
The Mets (4-11) have matched the third-worst start in franchise history, according to STATS LLC. They opened 3-12 in 1962 and 1964. They also lost 11 of their first 15 games in 1974 and 1981.
New York has lost 10 of 11 after winning three of its first four games under new manager Terry Collins.
Jurrjens (1-0) looked strong in his return from a right oblique strain, facing the minimum 15 batters through five innings. He gave up two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Mike Pelfrey (0-2) allowed 11 hits and four runs in five-plus innings. He gave up three hits in the first, including a run-scoring single by Dan Uggla, and three more in the third, including Chipper Jones’ RBI single.
Eric Hinske had three hits and drove in a run and Martin Prado had two hits and scored two runs in the second game. Jones, who hit a homer in the opener, added two hits.
Willie Harris singled up the middle with two outs in the second but was caught stealing to end the inning. Jurrjens then retired the next nine batters before Daniel Murphy led off the sixth with a double. Murphy was thrown out by catcher David Ross on an ill-advised attempt to steal third.
The only other baserunner allowed by Jurrjens was a walk to Mike Nickeas in the sixth.
The four homers in the opener, including one by rookie Freddie Freeman, were a season high for Atlanta and the most for the team since hitting four in a 16-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22, 2010.
Lowe (2-2) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He has a 1.82 ERA this season, but lost his previous two starts as the Braves were shut out by Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
D.J. Carrasco (0-1) gave up four hits, including three homers, in 3 2-3 innings as a fill-in starter in the first game.
Before the opener, the Mets placed right-hander Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm. They did not immediately announce a replacement for Young to start on Sunday.
Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth to earn his fourth save. With two outs, he gave up an infield single to Jose Reyes before getting Angel Pagan on a fly to center.
The series opener was postponed by rain Friday night. The Mets were playing consecutive doubleheaders for the first time since Aug. 20-21, 1998, against St. Louis. Club officials called the commissioner’s office Friday night, hoping to avoid a second straight twinbill, but the makeup game remained.
Players wore No. 42 jerseys in the opener as part of baseball’s annual tribute to Jackie Robinson, originally planned for Friday night. Among those wearing No. 42 was Harris who, like Robinson, was born in Cairo, Ga.
Harris drove in Carlos Beltran with a double off Lowe in the sixth, cutting it to 3-2. Josh Thole had a single and scored on Reyes’ grounder in the fifth.
The Braves began the day with 11 homers in 13 games.
Gonzalez has 16 of his 140 career homers against the Mets, more than any other team.
Jones, whose history of success against the Mets is no secret, began the day with a .319 career batting average against New York. The homer was his 45th against the Mets, matching his total against the Phillies.
Collins was pulling for Carrasco to last at least five innings, but the right-hander faded with two outs in the fourth. He gave up Gonzalez’s second homer of the game before walking Freeman and Lowe.”He kept us in the game, gave us a chance,” Collins said.
Ryota Igarashi replaced Carrasco and ended the inning on Martin Prado’s fly to center.
Left-hander Pat Misch, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo, pitched two innings, giving up Freeman’s first homer of the season to make it 4-2.
After the first game, the Braves placed right-hander Peter Moylan on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, clearing a roster spot for Jurrjens.
NOTES: Brian McCann and Dan Uggla were presented with their 2010 Silver Slugger Awards before the game. Tim Hudson collected his award for NL comeback player of the year. … The Braves recalled RHP Jairo Asencio from Triple-A Gwinnett. C J.C. Boscan was sent back to Gwinnett. … Mets LF Jason Bay, on the disabled list with a strained left rib cage, was to play a rehab game for Class-A St. Lucie on Saturday night and could join the team on Tuesday.
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