Originally created 04/15/04

Thomson silences Mets' bats



NEW YORK - The lineup was posted at 3 p.m. The guffaws started at 3:01.

After seeing an Atlanta Braves' order that included Dewayne Wise, Jesse Garcia and Eli Marrero, no one would have faulted the New York Mets for waiting long into the night for Wednesday's rain to subside.

As it turned out, the delay was barely an hour, but New York's misery stretched across the evening as a Braves' lineup missing Chipper Jones, J.D. Drew and Rafael Furcal thumped the Mets, 6-1, before 15,894 fans at Shea Stadium.

The Braves' offense knocked Mets starter Tyler Yates out of the game inside of three innings and the bench guys had a hand in everything. Wise, replacing Jones in left field in a second straight game, scored two runs and keyed a five-run rally in the third with a triple, Garcia singled twice and knocked in a run, and Marrero drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

John Thomson, meanwhile, delivered another solid start, limiting the Mets to one run on seven hits in eight innings. The 30-year-old right-hander, who took a no-decision against the Mets in last Thursday's 10-8 Braves' win at Turner Field, coasted through a lineup that managed just four singles and Ty Wigginton's double in the first six innings.

Thomson's seven-strikeout, no-walk performance was well-timed for a bullpen that needed a break. Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth to close out the game.

Thomson was the beneficiary of an offense that batted around in an inning for the third time in eight games this season.

Wise, who reached second on first baseman Mike Piazza's error and scored a run in the first, opened the third with a triple off the 26-year-old Yates.

Singles by Mark DeRosa (snapping an 0-for-15 slide), Marcus Giles and Adam LaRoche produced two runs, then Andruw Jones rifled a run-scoring double against the left-field wall and Marrero's sacrifice fly made it 5-0. Garcia followed with an RBI single and Yates gave way to reliever Jae Seo, who retired Wise.

That was more than enough for Thomson, who caught the attention of Braves' scouts by going 9-5 with a 3.89 earned run average in his final 18 starts for a bad Rangers team last season, then posted a 3.32 ERA in seven games as the No. 3 starter this spring.

In last week's start against the Mets, Thomson allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits. Facing the same lineup for the second time in six days, the veteran forced the Mets to hit nine ground balls.

Reach Bill Zack at BZack30143@aol.com.



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