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Braves slip past Mets 3-1
Atlanta Braves' Yunel Escobar , right, races home toward New York Mets catcher Brian Schneider to score on Adam LaRoche's ninth-inning single in New York Tuesday. - photo by Associated Press

NEW YORK — Jair Jurrjens dominated a feeble New York Mets lineup again and Yunel Escobar hit a two-run single, sending the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.

The surging Braves kept up their late playoff charge, though their chances for a postseason spot are slim. Atlanta began the day five games behind Colorado for the NL wild card and eight back of first-place Philadelphia in the NL East.

Atlanta, which has won six straight road games and 10 of 12 overall, lost All-Star catcher Brian McCann to a bruised left wrist in the fourth. He was replaced by David Ross.

Escobar singled with two outs in the fourth off hard-luck loser Nelson Figueroa (2-7), who allowed only two hits while throwing 126 pitches in seven innings.

Escobar also doubled leading off the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez and scored on Adam LaRoche's single to make it 3-1.

Braves setup man Peter Moylan worked a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano struck out three in a hitless ninth for his 25th save.

Moylan, making his 82nd appearance of the season, walked Luis Castillo with one out. Castillo advanced on David Wright's groundout before Carlos Beltran flied out on a 3-0 pitch, preserving Atlanta's one-run lead.

Jurrjens (13-10) tossed seven innings of five-hit ball to beat Figueroa for the second time in six days. The 23-year-old right-hander improved to 6-1 in eight career starts against the Mets, including 4-0 in five outings this year.

Jurrjens won his third straight start and went at least seven innings for the sixth consecutive time. In his second full season, he reached 200 innings for the first time. He has yielded only two earned runs over his last three starts covering 22 innings.

McCann appeared to get hit by a foul ball in the bottom of the third inning. Batting cleanup, he stepped to the plate with two on and nobody out in the fourth and dropped down a sacrifice bunt that advanced both runners.

Two batters later, Escobar put Atlanta ahead.

Wearing jerseys that read Los Mets on Hispanic Heritage Night, New York got an RBI single from Castillo in the third. With runners on second and third, Wright struck out on three pitches to end the inning.

Depleted by injuries, the punchless Mets have lost eight of 10.

Beltran charged in for a pair of sliding catches in center field, an encouraging sign for the Mets. He missed 70 games with a bone bruise on his right knee before returning this month.

NOTES: Figueroa has lost four consecutive starts since striking out a career-best 10 in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 30 at Wrigley Field. ... Mets manager Jerry Manuel said part-time catcher Omir Santos has been feeling under the weather lately and will return to the starting lineup once he's strong enough. Santos entered on defense in the eighth and struck out with a runner on to end the game. ... Castillo had seven hits in eight at-bats before flying out in the sixth. ... Gary Sheffield probably won't play the outfield again this season because of his balky back, Manuel said. Sheffield walked as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He has been limited to three pinch-hitting appearances since Aug. 28. ... LaRoche switched first base mitts in the seventh. ... Moylan and Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano are tied for the major league lead in appearances. ... The Braves are 12-5 against New York this year.