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Sheffield, Mets light up Lowe and beat Braves
Braves 3 col BW

NEW YORK — Gary Sheffield doubled twice in an eight-run fourth inning and the New York Mets battered Derek Lowe, rebounding from an early deficit for a 9-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Luis Castillo also had two hits and two RBIs during the big outburst off Lowe (12-8), who squandered a 4-0 lead against New York's injury-depleted lineup. The Mets pounded out 10 hits in the fourth, setting a franchise record for one inning.

All that offense came in support of Oliver Perez (3-3), who won for the first time in seven starts since July 8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The erratic lefty gave up a three-run homer to Matt Diaz and a solo shot to Adam LaRoche, but walked only one in five innings.

Still playing without injured stars Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and David Wright, the Mets got 17 hits without connecting for a home run. Sheffield, Castillo and Jeff Francoeur each had three.

Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes combined for four innings of scoreless relief.

Braves first baseman Martin Prado was removed in the first inning with a severe headache and replaced by LaRoche. Prado, who had complained of headaches and dizziness since leaving Saturday's game against Philadelphia, will return to Atlanta on Wednesday for tests.

Lowe appeared to be in control until he was struck on the glove hand by Angel Pagan's infield single to start the fourth. The right-hander was checked by manager Bobby Cox and a trainer before throwing one practice pitch and remaining in the game.

He gave up hits to eight of his next nine batters, including a two-strike single to Perez.

Sheffield laced a two-run double to right-center that cut it to 4-2. Francoeur hit an RBI double, Fernando Tatis followed with a tying single and Anderson Hernandez's single put New York in front.

Angel Pagan added a run-scoring groundout before Castillo chased Lowe with a two-run single that made it 8-4. Kris Medlen relieved and allowed another ringing double by Sheffield before retiring the side.

The Mets batted for 29 minutes. It was their most runs in an inning since they also scored eight in the third on Aug. 13, 2008, at Washington.

Lowe yielded 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings without a walk or strikeout.

Francoeur doubled again in the seventh and scored on Omir Santos' RBI grounder.

NOTES: Braves RHP Tim Hudson, recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery, was slated to pitch for Triple-A Gwinnett, his fifth minor league rehab start. ... Lowe threw 41 pitches in the first three innings — and 41 to get two outs in the fourth. ... The Mets announced that they signed their top draft pick, left-hander Steven Matz from nearby Ward Melville High School on Long Island, about a 60-minute drive from Citi Field. The club gave Matz, selected No. 72 overall, an $895,000 signing bonus.