Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Capuano blew through the Atlanta Braves lineup, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a two-hit shutout Friday to lead the New York Mets to a 6-0 win.
Capuano (10-11) was perfect through four innings and didn't allow a walk, throwing 79 of his 122 pitches for strikes on the way to his third career shutout and fourth complete game.
"I think it has to be (one of the best starts of my career)," said Capuano. "I've had a couple of shutouts before, but this one at this point of the season and after a rocky last month and a half or so certainly feels like one of the best."
The left-hander has probably never been better, but he wasn't the only thing keeping the Braves from scoring runs this weekend.
Friday's game was supposed to be the opener of a three-game series between the teams, but Saturday and Sunday's games were postponed because of the threat posed by Hurricane Irene.
Backing their pitcher with a consistent offensive push that took a while to pay off, the Mets had at least one baserunner in all eight innings while improving to 4-11 in their last 15 games.
Angel Pagan, Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda each had three hits, while Duda and Justin Turner both smacked two-run doubles in the win.
Tim Hudson (13-8) suffered his first loss in six starts after giving up four runs on 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four for the Braves, who fell to 7-2 in their last nine and remained six games behind Philadelphia for first place in the NL East.
"It's going to be a tight race all the way till the end," said Hudson. "I think the head-to-head matchups from here on out are going to dictate who wins the division. I feel really good about our team right now and we'll have to wait and see."
But it'll be a while until they can attempt to get back on the winning track.
The Mets said both weekend games had to be postponed after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced emergency plans that included the shutdown of the city's mass transit system at noon on Saturday.
The mayor also called on residents of low-lying areas of the country's largest city to evacuate ahead of the storm, calling the situation "very serious."
"Do not be fooled by the sun outside," Bloomberg said earlier Friday. "That is the calm before the storm."
Capuano entered the game without a win since July 28 (four starts) and hadn't thrown a shutout or complete game since 2006, when he accumulated his previous career totals in both categories.
He struck out the side in the second and escaped a potential infield hit in the fourth when second baseman Turner scrambled up the middle to field Martin Prado's grounder. Turner's throw to first was wide to the right side of the bag, but Nick Evans spun to tag Prado out.
Dan Uggla singled to left field leading off the fifth inning to end Capuano's perfect game bid, then was erased on a double play.
The Mets loaded the bases in the first and had runners in every inning until finally breaking through for a 2-0 lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Evans and Josh Thole in the fifth.
Hudson was pulled after giving up a single and a walk with one out in the seventh inning. George Sherrill got an out, but Turner greeted Scott Linebrink with a two-run double to make it 4-0.
David Ross hit a two-out double off Capuano in the eighth inning for Atlanta's second hit, but was stranded at second base.
Pagan led off the bottom of the inning with a double against Jonny Venters, who later intentionally walked David Wright before Duda hit a two-run double to the wall in right-center to make it 6-0.
Venters hadn't given up a run in 24 straight outings since surrendering two in Seattle on June 29.
Because of the weekend postponements, the Braves won't play again until Tuesday, when they open a three-game series at home against Washington. The Mets are scheduled to start a five-game series against the Florida Marlins on Monday, beginning with a doubleheader.
|Final - 8.26.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R|
|New York Mets||0||0||0||0||2||0||2||2||X||6|
Complete Coverage >