Claudell Washington hit a two-run homer and Dale Murphy lined an RBI single as the Atlanta Braves rallied for three runs in the seventh inning last night in New York to take a 6-3 victory over the Mets.
The loss was the third in the last 22 games for the Mets, whose 21-6 record is the best in the majors.
Atlanta was held to three hits by New York starter Bruce Berenyi and reliever Rick Aguilera (0-3) before erasing a 3-2 deficit in the seventh. Washington's home run was his fifth this season and the ninth yielded by Aguilera in 17 2/3 innings.
Atlanta starter Joe Johnson (4-3) worked six innings and gave up three runs on six hits. Bruce Sutter pitched the final three innings for his second save. The Mets loaded the bases in the eighth before Sutter got Tim Tuefel to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Sutter made his longest appearance since last June. The ace reliever underwent offseason arm surgery and has been used sparingly.
"He's the whole key to our staff," Braves Manager Chuck Tanner said. "When he told me to get him the lead and give him the ball, it made my day."
The Braves added a run in the ninth on a double by Washington, who had three hits and three RBI.
*Expos 4, Reds 2: Andre Dawson singled home two runs in the fifth inning in Montreal to lead the Expos over Cincinnati.
Winner Floyd Youmans (2-3) worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks. Jeff Reardon, the fourth Montreal pitcher, went two innings to pick up his fifth save.
Montreal won for the 11th time in 13 games. The Expos' Tim Raines extended his hitting streak to 17 games.
*Giants 6, Cubs 5: Pinch-hitter Candy Maldonado's two-run homer off Lee Smith with two outs in the ninth inning led San Francisco to victory in Chicago.
Maldonado, batting for winning pitcher Greg Minton, hit a 1-0 slider over the left field wall for his fifth home run of the season.
*Padres 4, Pirates 2: Dane Iorg, batting only .190, hit a three-run homer in the second inning in Pittsburgh for victorious San Diego.
Winner Eric Show (2-2) walked seven but allowed only three hits and struck out eight in six innings.
*Astros 3, Phillies 2: Denny Walling's single in the 11th inning scored Phil Garner from second base as Houston beat visiting Philadelphia.
Garner doubled to left with one out in the 11th off Dave Rucker (0-1). After an intentional walk to Glenn Davis, Walling bounced a single against the right field wall.
*Dodgers 6, Cardinals 5: Mike Marshall's eighth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Ken Dayley with one out in the 13th inning, helped visiting Los Angeles end a four-game losing streak.
Marshall's homer, which followed a single by Ken Landreaux, gave him 25 RBI. He leads the National League in homers and RBI.