NEW YORK - JULY 05: Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds on July 5 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Braves Shut Down Mets, 4-0

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Mets Drop Another To Braves, Fall Five Games Back In NL East

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Tim Hudson's RBI double punctuated a four-run fifth inning that propelled the Atlanta Braves to a 4-0 win over the New York Mets.

Hudson (9-4) was masterful on the mound, limiting New York to four hits in seven innings of work.

Omar Infante collected three hits and drove in a run for the National League East-leading Braves, who are five games ahead of the second-place Mets.

The Mets have dropped three in a row at Citi Field for the first time this season.

New York's Mike Pelfrey (10-4) escaped a bases-loaded jam in both the second and fourth innings but couldn't make it out of the fifth for a third straight start.

Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones, who was scratched from Friday's series opener due to back spasms, led off the fifth with a single. A base hit by Brian McCann put runners on the corners for Troy Glaus, who stroked a single to left field to drive in Jones for a 1-0 lead.

After a single from Eric Hinske loaded the bases, Infante grounded the ball up the middle to score McCann. Elmer Dessens replaced Pelfrey and induced a double-play grounder from Yunel Escobar. Glaus scored on the play to make it 3-0. Hudson then doubled over the head of right fielder Jeff Francoeur to bring in Hinske.

Hudson's double was the first extra-base hit of the game for the Braves, who recorded 12 hits off Pelfrey -- all singles.

Braves reliever Jonny Venters tossed a 1-2-3 eighth and former Met Billy Wagner closed the door in the ninth.

Pelfrey tied a career high for hits allowed...Injured Braves right fielder Jason Heyward doesn't expect to play in Tuesday's All-Star Game. The talented rookie was voted as a starter by the fans but is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb ailment. He has not played since June 26...New York shortstop Jose Reyes departed in the top of the seventh inning after he aggravated a pre-existing injury. Reyes had been attempting to play through a sore left side that limited the switch hitter to batting from the right side. He was replaced in the field by Ruben Tejada...The Mets were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position...Angel Pagan had three of New York's four hits.

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Mets Look To Close NL East Gap Against Braves

(Sports Network) - Mike Pelfrey was unable to secure a spot on the National League All-Star roster despite putting up numbers worthy of consideration. The New York Mets hurler has an opportunity to avenge the snub when he goes head- to-head with Atlanta Braves ace Tim Hudson in a marquee mound matchup between the NL East's top two teams today at Citi Field.

Pelfrey was 10-2 with a 2.93 earned run average at the time of last weekend's All-Star selections, but still couldn't make a well-stocked 13-man staff for the Senior Circuit in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. The right-hander is one of two double-digit winners, along with San Diego's Mat Latos, to be left off the NL squad.

The former first-round pick hasn't pitched like an All-Star as of late, however. After surrendering four runs and 12 hits in a 4 2/3-inning no- decision at Florida on June 30, Pelfrey was tagged for seven runs and nine hits before exiting with two out in the fifth inning of a loss to NL Central- leading Cincinnati Monday at Citi Field. The defeat was the first at home this season for the 26-year-old, who sports an excellent 6-1 record and a 2.83 ERA in 10 starts at his own park.

The Braves can attest to Pelfrey's credentials, as he's beaten them twice previously this season and allowed just two runs over a combined 12 2/3 innings in doing so. One of those wins took place at Citi Field on April 25, with Pelfrey firing five shutout frames in a rain-shortened 1-0 victory.

Hudson will be representing the first-place Braves in the upcoming All-Star Game, and it's a well-deserved honor for the veteran pitcher. The 34-year-old, who missed the majority of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, has put together an 8-4 record in 17 starts and ranks among the NL leaders with a 2.44 ERA.

The accomplished right-hander is just 2-3 over his last five assignments, although the Braves have scored two runs or less in each of those setbacks. That was the case this past Sunday, when Hudson worked eight innings against Florida but came out on the short end of a 3-2 decision.

Hudson has yet to face the Mets this season, but won his Citi Field debut last September after tossing six innings of two-run ball. The now three-time All- Star selection owns a 10-5 record with a 3.77 ERA over 16 career meetings with New York.

The Braves began this key three-game series with a three-game lead on the second-place Mets in the NL East standings, and were able to extend that margin by coming through with a 4-2 victory in last night's opener. The winning runs came via back-to-back solo homers by Melky Cabrera and Omar Infante with two out in the seventh inning.

With the score tied at 2-2, Cabrera hit the first pitch he saw from Mets starter R.A. Dickey (6-2) over the right-field wall. The right-hander's first pitch to Infante was taken for a called strike, but the next offering wound up bouncing off the top of the towering wall in left field for a 4-2 lead.

"Sometimes you make mistakes, and at this level, sometimes they pop them up and sometimes they hit them out," said Dickey, who was charged with four runs allowed (three earned) on nine hits over the first 6 2/3 innings. "Unfortunately [Friday] they hit them out."

Infante finished with four hits for the Braves, winners of three straight and six of their last eight contests. The All-Star utility man started at third base last night when Chipper Jones was scratched from the lineup due to back spasms. Jones is considered questionable for today's tilt.

The Mets threatened in the bottom of the eighth, placing runners at first and third with two out, but Atlanta reliever Takashi Saito escaped the jam by getting former Brave Jeff Francoeur to line out and end the inning. One-time Met Billy Wagner then threw a perfect ninth for his 20th save of the season.

Eric O'Flaherty (3-1) gained the win after getting the final out of the sixth in relief of Tommy Hanson, who gave up two runs and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings.

"[Hanson] had a good game and the bullpen [did as well]," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Friday's triumph was only Atlanta's second in six 2010 meetings with the Mets, who swept a three-game series between these rivals at home from April 23-25. The Braves did post a 7-2 record during the debut season of Citi Field in 2009, however.

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