Night of Firsts: Rookies, Leiter Help Beat Braves

With the expansion of the MLB-active roster from 25 to 40 on Monday, the Mets brought up six more pieces of what they hope is a successful future. Second basemen Danny Garcia and Centerfielder Prentice Redman started and were slotted in the second and eight spots in Art Howe's order, respectively, and each made a strong impact in the Mets 3-1 defeat of the Braves Tuesday Night at Shea.

Both Garcia and Redman picked up their first Major League hits Tuesday night, Garcia on a single up the middle in the first (his first of two hits of the sort on the night), and Redman on a double down the leftfield line in the second. Garcia also scored his first ML run in the first, when he came around on a Jason Phillips ground rule double to left field. The ball's exit from the field stopped thirdbasemen Ty Wigginton from scoring on the play, as well.

Garcia's run tied the game at one, as Leiter gave up an unearned run after Jason Phillips threw wide of the second base-bag on an attempted doubleplay on a Gary Sheffield grounder. Chipper Jones took advantage of the rookie catcher-turned-firstbasemen's mistake with a double to left. Leiter escaped further damage by inducing both Andruw Jones and Javy Lopez to pop out.

Leiter (14-7) pitched seven innings overall, stifling the best offensive team in the league. He walked two and struck out three, giving up just the one first-inning run.

The Mets offense scored two more, one coming in the third on a truly strange play involving Phillips and Wigginton. With Wigginton on second, Phillips hit a sharp grounder to former Met Mike Hampton (12-7), who had the ball hit his leg and roll into foul territory beyond the first base line. Hampton, scrambling for the ball, was met by Lopez, leaving the plate uncovered. Wigginton, known for his hard-nosed approach, broke for the plate and, with a pop-up slide, just beat the surprised Lopez to the plate.

Mike Piazza hit a broken-bat single in the seventh, scoring pinch hitter Marco Scutaro, who reached on Rafael Furcal's error.

The Mets have taken four of their last five against the Braves, and take them on again at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon.