Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Melky Cabrera and Omar Infante clubbed back- to-back home runs with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets, 4-2, in the opener of a critical three- game series at Citi Field.
With the score even at two, 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 in there for a called strike, but the next offering wound up bouncing off the top of the towering wall in left field.
"Sometimes you make mistakes, and at this level, sometimes they pop them up and sometimes they hit them out," Dickey said. "Unfortunately tonight they hit them out."
Infante finished with four hits for the National League East-leading Braves, who are four games ahead of the second-place Mets.
The Braves picked up a run in the first when New York shortstop Jose Reyes failed to turn a routine force play that would have ended the inning. Cabrera and Infante hit consecutive one-out singles. After a Brian McCann fly out left men on the corners, Troy Glaus hit a grounder that Reyes mishandled, producing the game's first run.
New York tied the game in the third. Dickey led off with a single, then the speedy Angel Pagan reached on a bunt base hit. Dickey advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Reyes and came home on a David Wright sac fly to the warning track in right.
The clubs traded runs in the fifth inning. Infante stroked a two-out single and McCann drew a walk before Glaus singled to right-center, driving in Infante with the go-ahead run. McCann was thrown out by Jeff Francoeur trying to advance to third.
The knuckleballer started a rally with a one-out single in the bottom of the frame, taking second base on a wild pitch. Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson struck out Pagan, but Reyes hit a line drive over left fielder Eric Hinske's head for an RBI double, knotting the game at two.
An opportunity to seize the lead was squandered by the Mets in the sixth. Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar let an Ike Davis pop-up fall for a leadoff double. Jason Bay walked and Josh Thole dropped down a bunt, but Davis was erased on the play. After Francoeur grounded out, putting runners on second and third, Eric O'Flaherty (3-1) replaced Hanson and induced a 4-3 groundout from pinch-hitter Jesus Feliciano to end the threat.
Saito threw two wild pitches in the eighth inning, allowing Davis to take third with two outs. Thole walked, but Francoeur lined out to finish the inning.
"[Hanson] had a good game and the bullpen [did as well]," Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
Infante recorded his second four-hit game of the season...Dickey had allowed just two home runs all year...Hanson and Dickey both had six strikeouts...Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones was a late scratch because of back spasms...The Mets optioned right-handed reliever Ryota Igarashi to St. Lucie of the Florida State League and recalled infielder/outfielder Nick Evans from Double-A Binghamton.