New York at Atlanta

N.Y. Mets
W: J. Smoltz (1-0) L: J. Santana (1-1)
S: R. Soriano (1)
HR: NYM - None ATL - M. Teixeira (2)

Smoltz outduels Santana in season debut; Braves take mini-sweep wire reports

ATLANTA -- John Smoltz is back -- and so is that pesky knot behind his shoulder.

Smoltz pitched five scoreless innings, Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer and the Atlanta Braves beat Johan Santana and the New York Mets 3-1 on Sunday to complete a two-game sweep of the rain-shortened series.

Santana (0-1) gave up only one run in seven innings, but Teixeira's eighth-inning drive off Aaron Heilman gave Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

Smoltz (1-0) was making his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with tightness in the back of his right shoulder. He again felt a knot in the trapezoid muscle and left the game after giving up only two hits and two walks.

"It's all right. I just didn't want to take a chance," said Smoltz, who struck out six. "This is my first test. I didn't fail it.

"It kills me to not go back out there for the sixth and possibly the seventh but I'm proud that at least I was able to say it's getting stiff, and not make it worse. ... I'm a seven- and eight-inning guy and that's what it'll be this year, but for the first start, I'll take this."

Braves manager Bobby Cox said he was confident Smoltz will make his next start.

"It is an important game but it is (Smoltz's) first game of the year," Cox said. "We'll see what happens. He'll make his next start."

Rafael Soriano allowed Ryan Church's two-out RBI single in the ninth before finishing for his first save. With runners on first and second, Teixeira made a diving stop of a sharp grounder by Brian Schneider to end the game.

"I was playing one step toward the line," Teixeira said. "I just didn't want a cheap groundball to get down that line. Brian hit it good, but I just wanted to try to smother it and get the out."

Santana, making his first career start at Turner Field, gave up seven hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"We knew it would be a tough game," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "I thought Santana threw very well, too. He kept us in the game."

Yunel Escobar doubled in Mark Kotsay in the third inning for the Braves' only run off Santana.

"They took advantage of a couple of pitches," Santana said. "That was the difference in the game."

Teixeira's shot just over the wall in right field drove in Chipper Jones, who walked with two outs.

"I hit it good but I hit it high and didn't know how far it was going to go," Teixeira said. "It just barely got out of there, but those count, too."

Blaine Boyer, Will Ohman and Peter Moylan each pitched one scoreless inning before Soriano worked the ninth.

Kotsay led off the third with a double to right and moved to third on Smoltz's sacrifice bunt. Santana fielded the ball and looked to throw to third, but shortstop Jose Reyes didn't cover the bag when third baseman David Wright charged the bunt.

Kotsay scored easily on Escobar's double over the head of left fielder Angel Pagan.


  • Smoltz is 19 strikeouts away from 3,000.
  • Carlos Delgado hit a one-out single in the fourth but was doubled off first base when Kotsay caught Church's flyball in right-center field.
  • While with the Twins, Santana was 0-1 against Atlanta in two career starts, both in Minnesota.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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John Smoltz lasts five innings in his first start before feeling a knot behind his shoulder, ending his day.  (AP)
John Smoltz lasts five innings in his first start before feeling a knot behind his shoulder, ending his day. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
New York

J. Santana
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 0
K 3

Related Video

New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4000012 .238
Luis Castillo, 2B4000012 .190
David Wright, 3B2100221 .316
Carlos Beltran, CF3000121 .368
Carlos Delgado, 1B4020013 .350
Ryan Church, RF4011011 .381
Angel Pagan, LF3000111 .313
Brian Schneider, C4010002 .333
Johan Santana, P2010000 .200
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000001 .200
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
a-hit into fielder's choice for Santana in the 8th
2B - Johan Santana (1, Smoltz)
RBI - Ryan Church (5)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Church (1)
SB - Marlon Anderson (1, 2nd base off Moylan/McCann)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Castillo-Reyes-Delgado
New York Mets
Johan Santana (L,1-1) 7711030 1.93
Aaron Heilman 1122111 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 91-58, Aaron Heilman 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 11-6, Aaron Heilman 1-1
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 27, Aaron Heilman 5
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4010011 .364
Yunel Escobar, SS4011011 .304
Chipper Jones, 3B3100111 .423
Mark Teixeira, 1B4112000 .192
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010000 .333
Matt Diaz, LF3020000 .320
Brian McCann, C3010002 .300
Mark Kotsay, CF3110001 .292
John Smoltz, P0000000 .000
   a- Ruben Gotay, PH1000010 .250
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
   b- Brayan Pena, PH1000001 .250
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Smoltz in the 5th
b-grounded out for Ohman in the 7th
2B - Yunel Escobar (1, Santana), Jeff Francoeur (2, Santana), Brian McCann (2, Santana), Mark Kotsay (2, Santana)
HR - Mark Teixeira (2, Heilman)
SH - John Smoltz (1)
RBI - Yunel Escobar (7), Mark Teixeira 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Yunel Escobar (4), Mark Teixeira 2 (3)
SB - Matt Diaz (1, 2nd base off Santana/Schneider)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Mark Kotsay 1
DP - Kotsay-Teixeira
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (W,1-0) 5200260 0.00
Blaine Boyer (H,1) 1000020 5.40
Will Ohman (H,2) 1100000 0.00
Peter Moylan (H,3) 1100000 2.25
Rafael Soriano (S,1) 1111210 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 78-51, Blaine Boyer 15-9, Will Ohman 18-12, Peter Moylan 7-5, Rafael Soriano 24-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 5-3, Blaine Boyer 1-0, Will Ohman 1-2, Peter Moylan 2-1, Rafael Soriano 1-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 18, Blaine Boyer 3, Will Ohman 4, Peter Moylan 4, Rafael Soriano 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39414
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Sam Holbrook