|Atlanta (86-64) «||0||1||0||0||0||1||4||0||0||6||12||0|
|N.Y. Mets (74-76)||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||3||8||1|
The three guys now waiting for Lee and his pals -- namely Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt -- don't figure to be so friendly.
|More on Braves at Mets|
"There's no secret. These are big games," Lee said. "This is the best part of baseball."
Lee's full-count, two-out shot into the second deck in left field energized the Braves going into their most crucial series of the season.
Leading the wild-card race and trailing the Phillies by three games in the NL East, Atlanta opens a three-game set in Philadelphia on Monday night. Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor and Tommy Hanson will start for the Braves against Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt.
"We know they've lined up their rotation to give us their three best," Braves pitcher Derek Lowe said.
Fine by Lee and his teammates.
"Philly's always fun," Lee said. "East Coast crowds are loud."
Added catcher Brian McCann: "It's a playoff atmosphere in Philly in April."
The Mets gave retiring Atlanta manager Bobby Cox a magnum bottle of wine from Tom Seaver's vineyard as a farewell gift, then Lee presented him with a key victory.
Lee greeted reliever Manny Acosta with his 11th career slam, and it was an altogether too familiar sight for the Mets. New York has allowed a major league-leading 12 slams this season, yet is the only team in the big leagues that hasn't hit one.
"That's unbelievable," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "Not to have one is as unbelievable as giving up 12."
The Braves got Lee in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 18 and the All-Star slugger hadn't produced the way his new team hoped. He'd hit only one home run for Atlanta before his no-doubt drive made it 6-2.
"I felt OK the last couple of days," Lee said. "It felt good to get a ball in the air."
Lowe (14-12) limited the Mets to David Wright's two-run homer over six innings, and the Braves' bullpen finished out the victory. Atlanta has won four straight road games after struggling away from Turner Field all year.
Lowe gave up four hits, benefited from three double plays behind him and also legged out a double.
Rookie Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his first big-league save. Closer Billy Wagner earned saves in the first two games of the series.
Alex Gonzalez contributed a pair of two-out RBI singles for the Braves.
It was 2-all when Cabrera pinch-hit for Lowe and blooped a leadoff single in the seventh against R.A. Dickey (11-7). Infante singled and Jason Heyward, after showing bunt against lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano, swung away and hit a little grounder that moved up the runners just the same.
An intentional walk to Prado loaded the bases, McCann hit a soft liner for the second out and Manuel summoned Acosta. The righty's first three pitches were balls and Lee fouled off a 3-2 fastball before connecting on a 94 mph heater for his 18th home run overall.
"He kept challenging him. He had to," Cox said.
Coming off a career-high 12 strikeouts against Washington in his last outing, Lowe looked more like his sinkerballing self. He retired eight straight batters on grounders in the early innings, and didn't fan anyone until getting rookie Lucas Duda to open the fifth.
Dickey didn't exactly fool anyone, even with his knuckleball. He didn't have a strikeout and never retired more than three hitters in a row.
Wright hit his team-leading 24th home run in the first, ending a 2½-week drought without an extra-base hit for the Mets' cleanup man. He sliced a high drive and Heyward stuck out his left hand as he drifted back, ready to brace himself at the right-field wall, but the ball carried over.
|Derrek Lee is the toast of the team on this day with his clutch grand slam to lift the Braves. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Omar Infante, 2B||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.337|
|Jason Heyward, RF||4||0||1||0||1||0||1||.286|
|Martin Prado, 3B||4||1||0||0||1||0||5||.309|
|Brian McCann, C||4||1||2||0||1||0||3||.274|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||5||2||2||4||0||0||2||.254|
|Nate McLouth, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.190|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||5||0||2||2||0||0||3||.262|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.232|
|Derek Lowe, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.140|
|a- Melky Cabrera, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.257|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Troy Glaus, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.240|
|Diory Hernandez, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Jonny Venters, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Lowe in the 7th|
|b-walked for O'Flaherty in the 8th|
|2B - Derrek Lee (29, Dickey), Rick Ankiel (12, Dickey), Derek Lowe (3, Dickey)|
|HR - Derrek Lee (18, Acosta)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee 4 (72), Alex Gonzalez 2 (85)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee 4 (29), Alex Gonzalez 2 (36)|
|SB - Nate McLouth (6, 3rd base off Acosta/Thole)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - A. Gonzalez-Infante-Lee, Infante-A. Gonzalez-Lee, A. Gonzalez-Infante-Lee|
|Derek Lowe (W,14-12)||6||4||2||2||1||2||1||4.18|
|Jonny Venters (H,23)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1.76|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,1)||1||1||0||0||0||3||0||0.63|
|WP - Eric O'Flaherty (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 91-56, Eric O'Flaherty 17-12, Jonny Venters 8-4, Craig Kimbrel 18-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 13-2, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Jonny Venters 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 22, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Jonny Venters 3, Craig Kimbrel 4|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Angel Pagan, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.237|
|David Wright, 3B||4||1||1||2||0||1||1||.283|
|Ike Davis, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Lucas Duda, LF||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.140|
|a- Nick Evans, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.333|
|b- Chris Carter, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Josh Thole, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.293|
|Ruben Tejada, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.195|
|Pat Misch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|R.A. Dickey, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.229|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Manny Acosta, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Raul Valdes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.444|
|Elmer Dessens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Joaquin Arias, PH-2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.265|
|a-singled for Duda in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Evans in the 9th|
|c-singled for Dessens in the 8th|
|HR - David Wright (24, Lowe)|
|RBI - David Wright 2 (94)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Wright 2 (28)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Outfield Assists - Angel Pagan 1|
|DP - Dickey-Reyes-Davis, Reyes-Tejada-Davis|
|PB - Josh Thole (3)|
|E - Josh Thole (2, Throwing)|
|New York Mets|
|R.A. Dickey (L,11-7)||6||10||4||4||2||0||0||2.92|
|IBB - Prado by Pedro Feliciano|
|HBP - McLouth (by R.A. Dickey)|
|Pitches-Strikes - R.A. Dickey 102-65, Pedro Feliciano 13-5, Manny Acosta 21-12, Raul Valdes 26-14, Elmer Dessens 5-2, Pat Misch 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R.A. Dickey 12-3, Pedro Feliciano 1-1, Manny Acosta 1-0, Pat Misch 2-1|
|Batters Faced - R.A. Dickey 28, Pedro Feliciano 3, Manny Acosta 3, Raul Valdes 4, Elmer Dessens 1, Pat Misch 4|
|Attendance - 33612|
|Game Time - 2:57|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Gary Darling|