As if on cue, Chipper Jones hit a two-run home run as part of a six-run day for the Braves, giving them a 6-4 win over the Mets.
Ed Lucas got the Braves going in the second with a RBI single off Mike Pelfrey. Derek Lowe doubled to lead off the third, which was followed by a bunt single by Nate McLouth to put runners on the corners. An error by David Wright allowed Lowe to score, but Chipper hit into a double play and Brian McCann flew out to end the inning.
Jordan Schafer singled to lead off the fifth, stole second and scored on a single by Wilkin Castillo. After two flyouts, Chipper hit a two-run homer off Dillon Gee for the five-run lead.
Diory Hernandez continued his hot hitting with a RBI double off Blaine Boyer in the eighth. Hernandez doesn't seem to be getting the attention or at bats like Lucas or Shawn Bowman, but he has quietly hit well.
Lowe pitched three solid innings, not allowing any hits or runs. He walked two to lead off the second and third, but he followed both with strikeouts. Scott Proctor struck out the side in the fourth, punching out Wright, Willie Harris and Nick Evans around an Ike Davis walk.
Cory Gearrin pitched a scoreless fifth, striking out Fernando Martinez and Daniel Murphy around a hit by pitch. Anthony Varvaro ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up a double, two singles and a walk that resulted in three runs. Varvaro was unable to finish the inning, and Stephen Marek was called on to do so, which he did after walking his first batter.
Marek allowed a run in the seventh after a two-out walk set up a double by Justin Turner. Aside from the two walks and double, Marek received three groundouts and a flyout. Good thing is this has probably been his worst outing so far.
Juan Abreu pitched a scoreless eighth, including a groundout of Martinez. Randall Delgado received his second inning of work this spring, allowing a single to Chin-lung Hu but otherwise pitching well, including a strikeout of Jordany Valdespin.
Varvaro struggled for a second straight outing, this time not even finishing the inning. He was a long shot for a bullpen spot, but his play lately isn't helping his case.
Marek pitched well around the two-out trouble, and he continues to make his case for a bullpen spot.
McLouth reached base twice again, and he has hit well over the past two games. He has already surpassed his spring totals from a year ago. We have a long way to go, but this is at least encouraging.
Hernandez continues to hit well in his limited chances, and Lucas is making a case for himself. The infield spot may not be as clear cut as first thought.