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Kawakami leads Braves to 3-2 win

NEW YORK - Kenshin Kawakami outpitched Johan Santana, Brian McCann hit a solo homer and the Atlanta Braves clawed just a bit further into playoff contention with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday.

Omar Infante and former Mets outfielder Ryan Church also drove in runs for the Braves (64-57), who began the night four games out in the NL wild-card race. They've won nine of their last 12 entering a critical three-game series against fellow playoff contender Florida.

Kawakami (6-9) left the bases loaded in the first and wound up allowing one run and seven hits in seven innings.

SideBar: Marlins at Braves

When: Today-Sunday

Where: Turner Field

Schedule:

· Today, 7:30 p.m. (PTV)

· Saturday, 7 p.m. (PTV)

· Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (FSS)