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Prado's big day leads Braves over Mets


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at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Thursday, March 18

Braves at the plate: Martin Prado hit a three-run home run against Freddy Garcia in a four-run sixth inning. Brandon Jones drove in a run in the fifth against Livan Hernandez, and Greg Norton drove in the other run allowed by Garcia. Jones went 3-for-4 on the day, while Prado and Kelly Johnson had two hits each.

Mets at the plate: Fernando Tatis hit a two-run homer, his second home run of the spring, in the first inning off Tommy Hanson, the Braves' primary pitching prospect. Both of the runs were unearned, but the home run was legit. Andy Green added a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.

Braves on the mound: Hanson allowed only the two runs in his four innings. He walked two and gave up three hits. Blaine Boyer pitched two scoreless innings after Hanson departed.

Mets on the mound: Hernandez pitched five innings -- no other Mets pitcher has exceeded four this spring -- in his fifth Spring Training appearance. He allowed five hits and no walks and one run. Hernandez's work was in marked contrast to what Garcia produced in his 1 2/3 frames that followed. He put a significant dent in his already damaged chances of winning the No. 5 spot in the rotation, allowing five runs on seven hits. Prado's home run was the telling blow.

Grapefruit League records: Mets 7-10-1; Braves 14-3.

Up next: Mike Pelfrey makes his third exhibition start Thursday in the Mets' home game against the Astros, beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET. Brian Stokes is among the pitchers who are to follow Pelfrey, who enters the games with a 3.86 ERA. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez is to start for the Astros.

The Braves return home to play the Tigers at 7:05 p.m. Kenshin Kawakami is to start for the Braves, opposite Jeremy Bonderman.

Little side note Javier Vazquez is back in camp now after Puerto Rico was eliminated last night

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