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FLA@ATL: Beachy fans 10 over 5 1/3 innings

A late single by Chipper Jones propelled the Braves to a series-tying victory over the Mets on Saturday, and the third baseman is hoping the win will help fuel his club as it continues its push for the National League Wild Card.

The win, combined with the Cardinals' loss to the NL East-champion Phillies, gives the Braves a 4 1/2-game lead for the Wild Card. Their magic number is seven.

"Hopefully, this kind of re-energizes the ballclub and gets us back on the winning track," Jones said. "I think every game from here on out [is the most important].

"Being able to put a win up on the scoreboard and let [the Cardinals] marinate on it, we put the pressure on them to keep pace. That's what we want to do. It's been a tough go of it lately, but hopefully today will stop that."

Dillon Gee will look to help the Mets play the role of spoiler. He's been so entrenched in the rotation, it's easy to forget he didn't join it until making a spot start on April 17 at Turner Field.

Gee notched the first of seven consecutive wins that day, but he cooled off considerably as the season progressed. Even though he's posted a mediocre 5.25 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break, manager Terry Collins feels his recent struggles are an important learning experience for him in his first full Major League season.

"He got off to a great start. The education he's getting now is what it takes to pitch here all year with all the innings you're going to run up," Collins said. "He'll hit a wall. ... But he's pitched very good. ... I don't see any reason that he won't go out and pitch well Sunday."

The Braves counter with a rookie pitcher of their own, Brandon Beachy. Beachy will look to turn in a strong performance to ease the worries of manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has been doing some scoreboard watching lately.

"I'll watch a few innings here and there," Gonzalez said of St. Louis. "I guess if we get out of here early enough [on Sunday], we can watch them when we get to Miami."

Still, Gonzalez knows that it's most important for him to focus on what the Braves are doing. Atlanta has lost 10 of its last 16 to make a race out of what once looked like a foregone conclusion.

"You've got to pull for your team," Gonzalez said. "If we don't win, it doesn't matter what the Cardinals do, really. We've got to win this series."

Mets: Santana set to throw sim game
• Johan Santana will throw a simulated game in Florida on Sunday before pitching in the instructional league during the offseason. If he feels up to it, he might pitch winter ball in his native Venezuela. The lefty missed the entire season recovering from surgery on a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

Braves: Hanson, Medlen keep progressing
• Starter Tommy Hanson and reliever Kris Medlen continued their rehab on Saturday at Turner Field. Hanson threw his final side session, and Medlen threw live batting practice for the first time. Medlen, who had Tommy John surgery last August, will throw live BP again on Sunday before pitching in the instructional league on Tuesday in Florida. Hanson, out with tendinitis in his shoulder, will head to Florida as well. The Braves hope to have Hanson available to start in the National League Division Series should they get there.

Worth noting
• Jones' winning hit on Saturday was his 39th against the Mets. Only Willie Stargell has more, with 40.

• The Braves' victory gave them a 29-24 record in one-run games this season. The Braves have lost one-run decisions in four of their last six losses and five of their last nine.

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