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Posted: Sunday, September 9th 2012 at 1:05am

Braves rout Mets behind Medlen

By The Associated Press
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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NEW YORK -- With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two strikes on Ronny Cedeno, with nobody on base and the New York Mets trailing by eight runs, a bugle charge call blared over the sound system at Citi Field.

By then, it was a little late.

Kris Medlen extended Atlanta's scoreless streak to 31 innings for its best string in more than 20 years, slumping Brian McCann drove in four runs with four hits and the Braves overwhelmed the Mets 11-3 on a stormy Saturday.

Jeremy Hefner (2-6) gave up a double to Michael Bourn to lead off the game and left in the third inning trailing 5-0.

"It was command. Left a lot of pitches over the middle and they capitalized," Hefner said. "That's a good team. You leave balls over the middle, they get hit."

Hefner was gone before the weather became rugged at the ballpark.

A tornado touched down in Queens about 15 miles away several hours before the game. When the grounds crew struggled to control the billowing tarp before the first pitch, Braves reliever Jonny Venters pitched in to hold a flapping corner.

The winds were blowing at 26 mph with gusts up to 51 mph at the start. Dark, ominous clouds swept in later, causing a 75-minute rain delay after the sixth inning and prompting the public-address announcer to urge fans to take cover.

The NL wild card leaders easily romped to their fourth straight win. McCann homered, doubled and tied a career high for hits and Dan Uggla kept up his recent resurgence at the plate with three hits and two walks, scoring three times.

The Mets have scored three runs or less in nine straight home games, its worst such skid since 1982.

Medlen (8-1) stretched several impressive streaks for himself and the Braves. He allowed four hits, left with an 8-2 lead after the rain and contributed a long RBI double.

Atlanta has won the last 19 games Medlen has started, dating to 2010. And the NL pitcher of the month for August improved to 13-0 in his last 24 starts overall.

After throwing three straight shutouts, Atlanta posted its longest scoreless streak since a 36-inning string in early 1992, STATS LLC said.

The Mets broke through in the fourth with an RBI single by Lucas Duda. In the eighth, Duda doubled home a run.

"Today's the best day that he swung the bat completely," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "As we get down to the end of the season, we've got to find out if this guy, what he's going to do for us in the future.

"Last year, he had such a great debut here. This year he's struggled a little bit," he said. "But if we get him going, offensively, we got a chance he can be a dynamic offensive player for us."

Medlen, meanwhile, went 40 1-3 innings without permitting an earned run. His run of success ended where it started, having begun the streak in a win at Citi Field on Aug. 11.

Medlen certainly has seen the Mets enough. This was his seventh appearance against them this year, including five relief outings.

Atlanta got production from most everyone during its highest-scoring game in exactly a month. Freddie Freeman stopped an 0-for-16 slide with an RBI single, Eric Hinske had his eighth career pinch-hit homer and Chipper Jones drove in a run.

McCann came into the game hitting .224 and stuck in an 0-for-17 rut. The six-time All-Star catcher bunted down the third base line for an easy single against the Mets' overshifted defense in the second and a single by Jose Constanza off Hefner's glove made it 1-0.

Medlen's double finished Hefner in the third. McCann hit his 19th homer in the fifth.

Cedeno had a pinch-hit home run in the fifth. It was the first homer off Medlen in 52 2-3 innings.

Moments after that final bugle blast, Cedeno struck out to end the game. Cory Gearrin fanned the side in the ninth on 12 pitches.

NOTES: The Mets said tickets from this game could redeemed for a free ticket Monday night against NL East-leading Washington. ... Mets CF Andres Torres did not play a day after bruising his knee making a diving catch. ... Mets rookie RHP Matt Harvey is set for two more starts, Collins said. RHPs Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia could get starts in the final weeks.
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports

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