That’s more like it. Headed into the bottom of the third, it was 6-0, Mets. Headed to the bottom of the fourth, it was 6-3. At the end of four, it was 14-6, Braves. I really think this team is going to score some runs.

Mike Hampton didn’t do much better than Russ Ortiz, unfortunately, going four innings and giving up six runs, five of them earned. Like Ortiz, he didn’t get any help from the defense, a run scoring on an error by Furcal, his second in the first two games, but the game was already 5-0 by then. Hampton needed 90 pitches to get through the four innings. Just as worrisome, runs were scored off the core of the bullpen, Nitkowski, Reitsma, and Smoltz. The latter gave up a two-run homer in the ninth. Better in this situation, I guess. Gryboski pitched an inning with his arm stapled to his shoulder to get the win, and Base12 also had a scoreless inning.

But the story was the offense, which pounded out nineteen hits, also drawing six walks. All the regulars got hits but Furcal, who walked twice. Adam LaRoche, in his first major league action, had two hits in the big fourth inning, including a double, scoring twice and driving in two. Julio Franco also had two hits in the inning, pinch-hitting for Hampton, and bringing up the question of why you have a lefty fourth outfielder to pinch-hit if you’re going to use your righthanded first baseman as your first pinch-hitter. Johnny Estrada also had two hits in the fourth; everyone in the lineup reached base in the inning but Marcus Giles, who drove in a run with a sac fly.

The litany of good days… Chipper had a two-run homer in the second and also had a double late in the game. Marcus was 3-4 with three RBI and now has five for the year. After going hitless in his first start as the Braves’ regular catcher, Johnny Estrada was 3-5. Mark DeRosa managed to not make any errors and was 3-3 with four runs scored. It was that kind of day. The only disappointment was that Julio Franco didn’t get to bat against John Franco.

Night game tonight to finish the series, John Thomson against — I can’t believe this — Scott Erickson. Apparently Mark Gubicza wasn’t available.