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Chicago at New York

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Chi. Cubs0000000000040
N.Y. Mets «0000000001170

Hitless for six innings, Mets beat Cubs on 10th-inning single

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The New York Mets pulled out another gritty win behind rookie John Maine, who is making a strong bid for a regular spot in the rotation.

Jose Valentin hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning, and New York edged the Chicago Cubs 1-0 Wednesday to snap a three-game skid.

"These are the games that turn good teams into great teams," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "Great teams dig down deep in games like this."

Maine tossed seven innings of three-hit ball (all soft singles). He matched zeros with oft-injured All-Star Mark Prior, who threw 5 2/3 hitless innings before departing after 103 pitches.

"That was as far as he could go," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We won the series. It's some consolation. The team with the best record in the league, we played tough."

Prior and reliever Will Ohman held the NL East-leading Mets without a hit for six innings before Valentin blooped a one-out single to center off Roberto Novoa in the seventh -- a ball that could have been caught by shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

He got back far enough, but didn't appear to see it well and never had the ball lined up. It fell beyond Cedeno's outstretched glove and was immediately scored a hit.

Jose Reyes hit a clean single to left off Scott Eyre with one out in the eighth.

Carlos Beltran singled with two outs in the 10th off ex-Met Glendon Rusch (3-8), and Carlos Delgado followed with a cue-shot double past third.

After Wright was intentionally walked to load the bases, Valentin lined a 1-2 pitch to center, giving the Mets 15 wins in their final at-bat this year.

The 36-year-old Valentin was signed last offseason to be a role player. But he's been an extremely pleasant surprise since assuming the everyday job at second base.

"I've got something to prove here," he said, "not just to the players, but to the coaches and the manager and the front office."

Aaron Heilman (1-3) worked a scoreless inning for the win.

After allowing eight runs in each of its previous three games, New York got an outstanding performance on the mound from Maine -- again.

Mets manager Willie Randolph went to the mound during the sixth and challenged Maine to get out of a jam and finish strong. The right-hander responded.

"He really showed me a lot," Beltran said. "He's got a good fastball."

Maine matched a career high with seven strikeouts and extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings since July 8 against Florida.

Still, with Pedro Martinez ready to come off the disabled list, Randolph would not guarantee Maine a start on the upcoming road trip.

"We'll see," Randolph said. "He needs to solidify a spot. Seventeen scoreless innings for him right now, that's good."

Maine was coming off a four-hit shutout against Houston last Friday.

"It's more of a confidence thing," he said. "Before, I thought I had to make the perfect pitch in every situation."

Prior made his sixth start of the season and second since his latest stint on the disabled list -- he was sidelined with a strained muscle on his left side. He lowered his ERA from 8.14 to 6.60 but is winless in nine starts since last September, the longest drought of his career.

The 25-year-old Prior walked four in the first four innings, including the leadoff batter three times. He showed some frustration, but never folded.

"It's starting to come around," Prior said. "I've had a lot of freak things happen to me. ... I think I've got a lot of great years ahead of me."

Cubs first baseman John Mabry went to his knees for Endy Chavez's sixth-inning grounder toward the hole, and Prior hustled to cover first.

That's when he appeared to run out of gas.

Prior walked slowly back to the mound and was checked by Baker. Prior stayed in the game, but never looked comfortable during a five-pitch walk to Beltran. Baker then came back out and removed the right-hander.

"I was on a short leash going into that sixth inning," said Prior, who had some cramping in a finger on his pitching hand late in his outing.

Prior threw only 56 strikes. He walked a season-high five and fanned three.

Ohman retired Delgado to end the sixth.

Notes

  • Mets rookie RHP Brian Bannister, on the 60-day disabled list because of a hamstring injury, allowed four runs -- three earned -- six hits and four walks in five innings in a rehab start for St. Lucie at Lakeland in the Florida State League. Bannister, out since May, threw 83 pitches and had one strikeout.
  • The Cubs plan to call up a pitcher from Triple-A Iowa to start Thursday night against St. Louis.
  • Martinez is slated to start Friday night in Atlanta. RHP Heath Bell will be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room on the roster.
  • Chicago was trying for its first sweep at Shea Stadium since a four-game set in August 1991.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jose Valentin's 10th-inning single helps the Mets avoid a Cubs sweep at Shea for the first time since '91.  (AP)
Jose Valentin's 10th-inning single helps the Mets avoid a Cubs sweep at Shea for the first time since '91. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
New York

J. Valentin
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4010102 .278
Todd Walker, 2B3000100 .279
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Glendon Rusch, P0000000 .231
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4020012 .271
Jacque Jones, RF4000003 .286
Michael Barrett, C4000021 .330
John Mabry, 1B3000130 .216
Angel Pagan, LF2000100 .228
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010011 .246
Mark Prior, P2000010 .000
    Will Ohman, P00000001.000
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .250
   a- Phil Nevin, PH1000000 .232
    Neifi Perez, 2B1000002 .257
Totals320404811 
a-flied out for Novoa in the 8th
Batting
SH - Angel Pagan (1)
CS - Juan Pierre (11, 2nd base by Maine/Castro)
Team LOB - 7
Chicago Cubs
Mark Prior 5.2000530 6.60
Will Ohman 0.1000000 4.07
Roberto Novoa 1100000 5.05
Scott Eyre 1200020 2.12
Michael Wuertz 0.2100100 5.40
Glendon Rusch (L,3-8) 1311100 7.17
IBB - Wright by Glendon Rusch
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Prior 103-56, Will Ohman 3-2, Roberto Novoa 21-13, Scott Eyre 16-11, Michael Wuertz 15-9, Glendon Rusch 33-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Prior 6-7, Will Ohman 1-0, Roberto Novoa 1-2, Glendon Rusch 2-1
Batters Faced - Mark Prior 21, Will Ohman 1, Roberto Novoa 4, Scott Eyre 5, Michael Wuertz 4, Glendon Rusch 7
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5010001 .288
Endy Chavez, LF4000112 .283
Carlos Beltran, CF3120201 .277
Carlos Delgado, 1B5010025 .255
David Wright, 3B2000301 .315
Jose Valentin, 2B5021003 .289
Xavier Nady, RF4000002 .262
Ramon Castro, C3010111 .239
John Maine, P2000001 .000
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   a- Julio Franco, PH1000010 .263
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
   b- Cliff Floyd, PH1000002 .252
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
Totals351717519 
a-struck out for Sanchez in the 8th
b-grounded out for Wagner in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carlos Delgado (17, Rusch)
RBI - Jose Valentin (42)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Valentin (13)
SB - Jose Reyes (41, 2nd base off Prior/Barrett), Carlos Beltran 2 (14, 2nd base off Ohman/Barrett, 2nd base off Eyre/Barrett)
CS - David Wright (4, 2nd base by Prior/Barrett)
Team LOB - 12
New York Mets
John Maine 7300370 2.45
Duaner Sanchez 1000000 2.65
Billy Wagner 1000010 2.31
Aaron Heilman (W,1-3) 1100100 4.32
Pitches-Strikes - John Maine 118-69, Duaner Sanchez 12-7, Billy Wagner 11-9, Aaron Heilman 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Maine 9-4, Duaner Sanchez 2-1, Billy Wagner 1-1, Aaron Heilman 1-2
Batters Faced - John Maine 26, Duaner Sanchez 3, Billy Wagner 3, Aaron Heilman 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40299
Game Time - 3:25
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Kerwin Danley