NEW YORK — Chipper Jones homered and drove in four runs to power the Atlanta Braves to an 11-3 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.
Garret Anderson and Matt Diaz also connected for the Braves, who have won nine of 11 to keep a grip on their faint playoff hopes. They moved within five games of idle Colorado for the NL wild-card lead with 12 games left.
Atlanta opened a six-game trip with its most runs since it set a season high in a 15-2 win at New York on Aug. 19. Martin Prado had three hits, Nate McLouth scored three times and Derek Lowe (15-9) pitched five innings to help the Braves improve to 11-5 against the Mets this season.
Daniel Murphy homered and Luis Castillo had two hits for New York, which has lost seven of nine. Castillo was replaced by Anderson Hernandez with Atlanta leading 11-1 in the fourth and All-Star third baseman David Wright was taken out in the sixth.
Murphy, who doubled and scored in the second, is batting .358 (19 for 53) with three homers and 12 RBIs in his last 14 games.
Atlanta jumped all over Pat Misch (1-4), scoring four times in each of the first two innings. Anderson capped the scoring in the first with a two-run drive into the second deck in right and Diaz started the second with a liner into the seats in left-center.
Jones, who has been bothered by a slew of physical ailments during a disappointing season, said before the game he was feeling better but his swing was still off. He also reiterated he could retire if he struggles again next season.
"Money will not keep me in this game," he said. "Nor will numbers. When I stop having fun, when I stop feeling like I'm productive, I will walk away."
Jones sure looked all right while adding to his stellar career numbers against New York.
The 37-year-old third baseman drove in the Braves' first run with a groundout and chased Misch with a towering three-run drive to left in the second for his 17th homer and first since Aug. 29, at Philadelphia.
Jones has a .324 batting average, 42 homers and 133 RBIs in 203 games against New York. He was booed before each of his at-bats.
Lowe allowed three runs and six hits, and helped himself at the plate with his sixth career two-hit game. Kenshin Kawakami pitched four innings of one-hit ball for his first career save.
Lowe left his previous start Wednesday against the Mets after two innings because of a blister on his right ring finger. The right-hander reached the 15-win mark for the fourth time in his career and first since he went 16-8 for the Dodgers in 2006.
NOTES: Jones on his retirement talk causing a bit of a stir among Mets fans: "They still got one more year of coming out and ragging on me. So New Yorkers can rest assured that they'll have me in an Atlanta Braves uniform for at least one more year." ... Mets manager Jerry Manuel said RHP John Maine felt fine after throwing five scoreless innings in a 6-2 victory over Washington on Sunday and probably will have a pitch count of around 90 for his next start. Maine is building his strength after a three-month stint on the DL with a sore right shoulder.