NEW YORK -- With a heavy dose of curves to Carlos Delgado and a consistent fastball down in the strike zone, Mike O'Connor baffled the New York Mets for his first major league win.
The lanky lefty pitched two-hit ball for seven impressive innings and Alfonso Soriano hit a long two-run homer, leading the Washington Nationals to a 6-2 victory Tuesday night.
"Make sure I mix up my pitches and keep guys off balance and I think I'll be fine," said O'Connor, who planned to give the souvenir ball to his family.
Pinch-hitter Damian Jackson also had a two-run shot and new leadoff batter Marlon Byrd got three hits and scored three times to help Washington win for only the second time in 10 games.
The Nationals (9-18) improved to 2-6 against the NL East-leading Mets this season.
"You've seen how ugly it's been and how desperate we needed to win a game," Washington manager Frank Robinson said. "Hopefully, this will get us going."
Making his second big league start, O'Connor (1-1) allowed only a homer and a single to Paul Lo Duca. With his mom and girlfriend in the stands, the 25-year-old struck out six and walked two.
"Arms and legs coming at you," New York's David Wright said. "He threw a solid game."
Mike Stanton and Chad Cordero completed the three-hitter. Carlos Beltran homered against Cordero leading off the ninth.
John Maine (0-1) lost his Mets debut, giving up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Acquired with reliever Jorge Julio in the January trade that sent Kris Benson to Baltimore, the 24-year-old right-hander fanned six and issued two walks. He was pitching in place of injured rookie Brian Bannister (hamstring).
"I didn't pitch nearly as well as I could," Maine said. "I still had butterflies, but not too nervous."
O'Connor was called up from the minors last week to replace starter John Patterson, sidelined with a forearm injury. He was also solid in his major league debut, allowing three runs -- none earned -- in five innings last Thursday against St. Louis.
"He's pitched two excellent games. Why would we send him back?" Robinson said. "I like the way he conducts himself, handles himself on the mound. He seems to have excellent composure out there, veteran composure."
O'Connor fanned Beltran, Delgado and Wright in succession in the sixth and seventh. Plate umpire Jeff Nelson then turned toward New York's dugout and ejected manager Willie Randolph.
"Getting thrown out of the game is protecting my players," Randolph said. "I just voiced my opinion and I was thrown out."
The Mets had won five of six. Slumping slugger Cliff Floyd lined out to shortstop with runners on second and third to end the fourth and slammed his helmet down in frustration.
"I'm just more frustrated overall with myself," he said. "I'm not really pouting. I really want to come through for our team."
Byrd and Marlon Anderson opened the game with consecutive doubles down the left-field line, putting the Nationals ahead. Lo Duca tied it with a solo shot in the bottom half.
Byrd doubled to right in the third and Soriano drove a 2-2 pitch from Maine an estimated 440 feet down the left-field line and into the second deck, about five rows up. It was Soriano's eighth home run.
"I hit it very hard," Soriano said.
Nick Johnson snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a leadoff single in the sixth and stole second. He moved to third on Ryan Zimmerman's grounder to the right side and scored on an RBI groundout by pinch-hitter Jose Guillen against reliever Darren Oliver.
Byrd singled with two outs in the seventh. Just after a black cat sneaked its way onto the right-field warning track, Jackson connected on Oliver's next pitch to make it 6-1. It was Jackson's first career pinch-hit homer.
O'Connor was Washington's 2005 minor league pitcher of the year. ... Cordero had retired 13 consecutive batters dating to April 15. ... Stanton pitched his 1,000th career inning. ... Randolph was ejected for the first time this season and the second time in his career. ... The slow-footed Johnson has four stolen bases. ... Olympic figure skaters Sarah and Emily Hughes were on the field before the game.