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Mets defeat Braves, 3-2
Atlanta Braves' Eric Hinske follows through on a solo home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Monday, May 17, 2010 in Atlanta. - photo by Associated Press

ATLANTA — Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets a lift with 7 2/3 strong innings and New York beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Monday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Pelfrey (5-1) became the first Mets starting pitcher to win a game this month. He was perhaps an unlikely choice to end the May drought as he improved to only 3-10 in 19 career starts in the month.

Rod Barajas gave the Mets a 2-0 lead with a two-run double off Derek Lowe (5-4) in the second.

Pedro Feliciano struck out Brian McCann with the bases loaded in the eighth to protect a one-run lead. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his sixth save. With two outs, Yunel Escobar walked and stole second. Rodriguez struck out Nate McLouth to end the game.

Pelfrey gave up seven hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings. He had two walks and three strikeouts.

Pelfrey also ended the Mets' streak of five straight road losses. With the win, the Mets moved out of last place in the NL East, one-half game ahead of Atlanta.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon met with manager Jerry Manuel, general manager Omar Minaya and assistant general manager John Ricco before the game.

"I didn't come here to fire anybody, guys. Sorry," Wilpon told reporters.

Manuel said it was "a good baseball meeting."

Lowe gave up four hits and three runs in seven innings, his longest start of the season.

Barajas drove in Chris Carter, who led off the second with a double, and Ike Davis, who was hit by a pitch, with his two-run double.

Eric Hinske, who hit his first homer of the season on Sunday, had three hits, including his second homer. He hit an 0-2 pitch from Pelfrey over the right-field wall in the fifth to cut the Mets' lead to 2-1.

Jose Reyes' ninth stolen base helped the Mets push the lead back to two runs in the sixth. Reyes singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and stole third base before scoring on Carter's groundout to second.

Martin Prado, named NL player of the week on Monday, led off the sixth with a double and later scored on Chipper Jones' sacrifice fly to cut New York's lead to 3-2.

The Mets protected the lead in the eighth after McLouth hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice and raced to third on a wild pitch from Pelfrey. McLouth broke for the plate on Prado's grounder to Reyes at shortstop. Reyes threw to the plate to start a long rundown which finally ended with McLouth out and Prado standing on second base.

Feliciano gave up Jason Heyward's infield single before walking Jones to load the bases. He struck out McCann to end the threat.

NOTES: The Mets said LHP Jonathon Niese suffered a mild strain of his right hamstring on Sunday. He was examined in New York. ... Mets RHP Nyota Igarashi pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout, in an injury rehab appearance for Class A St. Lucie and will report to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. ... Slumping RF Jeff Francoeur was held out of the Mets' lineup for the second straight game. He entered the game in the sixth. ... Jason Bay's eighth-inning single gave him an 11-game hitting streak. ... Braves OF Jordan Schafer was activated from the DL and optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was already on a rehab assignment.