Reed lifts Mets to place in play-offs

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One day after watching the Atlanta Braves wrap up another National League East title, the New York Mets secured the NL wild card place for the second consecutive year with a 6-2 win over Atlanta. Rick Reed pitched eight strong innings and Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run home run capped a three-run fifth inning for the Mets, who make back-to-back post-season appearances for the first time.

One day after watching the Atlanta Braves wrap up another National League East title, the New York Mets secured the NL wild card place for the second consecutive year with a 6-2 win over Atlanta. Rick Reed pitched eight strong innings and Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run home run capped a three-run fifth inning for the Mets, who make back-to-back post-season appearances for the first time.

"Everyone starts the season with a lot of pressure. The key for us is we had a great August. It gave us a lot of space in September, and we needed it," Bobby Valentine, the New York manager, said. "But now we all start from zero. We think we have as good a chance as anyone to get to the World Series."

The Mets catcher Mike Piazza said: "We knew we were going to do it. It was not a matter of if, just a matter of when. Now we get to enjoy it for a few days."

The 35-year-old Reed gave up a solo homer to Andruw Jones in the top of the first but suffered only three more hits in the game. He walked one, struck out seven and retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced.

Kevin Millwood continued his off-and-on September for Atlanta, surrendering five runs and six hits in 5 1/ 3 innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Jones hit his 35th homer in the first inning. Andres Galarraga hit his 28th homer in the ninth off the closer Armando Benitez.

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