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New York at Washington

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N.Y. Mets «003001200680
Washington000103000460

Mets 6, Nationals 4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- For five innings Saturday night, John Maine allowed a grand total of one ball to leave the infield.

Sure, that one landed in the upper deck, and he gave up another homer in the sixth, but Maine is proving to himself and his New York Mets teammates that when he's on the mound, good things can happen.

Maine took a one-hitter into the sixth, Carlos Beltran had three hits and the Mets took advantage of Washington's thin bullpen to beat the Nationals 6-4 Saturday night.

"The kid's been unbelievable. He's starting to believe that his stuff is that good. I think all of us know it here," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "He's going to be here for a long time. You can see a kid evolving into something special."

The Mets took a 4-1 lead thanks in part to Maine's spectacular first five innings. Washington's only hit to that point was Nick Johnson's 18th homer, an upper-deck shot with two outs in the fourth.

That ended Maine's scoreless streak at 26 innings, 25 as a starter.

"It's tough to go out there pitching and not give up a run," said Maine, who had nine major league starts before this season. "I wish it had gone differently, but it didn't and that just means I've got some things to go work on."

He relied mainly on his two-seam and four-seam fastballs, while mixing in an effective changeup and curve.

"He just challenged us," said Brian Schneider, part of an 0-for-14 night with six strikeouts for Washington's 5-6-7-8 hitters.

Maine wound up giving up Alfonso Soriano's 37th homer in the sixth, when Washington scored three runs to make it 4-all. But even with a no-decision, and getting charged with four runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, Maine's ERA is 2.64.

"Each outing, he's getting more polished. He has an ability to get a lot of swings and misses," Lo Duca said. "He has a knack to put guys away."

After Soriano's homer, Felipe Lopez singled and stole his 31st base of the season. Maine got Ryan Zimmerman to fly out, but with Johnson up next, Mets manager Willie Randolph came out to remove his starter.

"He has some things he needs to refine, but I'm not going to nitpick too much with what he's doing," Randolph said. "He's in a nice little rhythm right now and I just want to keep him right there."

Lefty Pedro Feliciano (5-2) entered and threw two changeups, the second of which Johnson lined to center for an RBI single, tying the game at 4. From there, though, the Mets' bullpen shut down Washington. Feliciano wound up going 1 2/3 innings, and Aaron Heilman threw a scoreless eighth.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 27th save this season and the 311th of his career, tying Tom Henke for 15th on the career list.

The Nationals had that sort of relief relay last season, when closer Chad Cordero led the majors with 47 saves. But some early injuries, coupled with trades that sent away Mike Stanton, Bill Bray and Gary Majewski, depleted the bullpen, leaving it filled mainly with minor leaguers. And the only left-handed reliever currently on the roster, Micah Bowie, has been hurt since Tuesday.

"They're not going to be consistent," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said of his young relievers. "That's the one thing that's going to be their Achilles' heel out there."

So when starter Jason Bergmann -- himself a converted reliever just brought up from Triple-A New Orleans after ace Livan Hernandez was traded -- left after giving up three runs over five innings, the Mets capitalized.

Travis Hughes came in for Bergmann to begin the sixth, and David Wright hit his second pitch for a double. Tucker walked, and Lastings Milledge's high chopper produced an infield single that made it 4-1.

Hughes said he has to "quit trying to overthrow -- sometimes I let the game get carried away."

After Washington tied it in their half of the sixth, New York went right back to work against Chris Schroder (0-1). Beltran led off with a double, Schroder hit Wright, and Jose Valentin singled on a full count to make it 5-4. Michael Tucker's flyout added the final run.

"They're going to get better," Schneider said about the bullpen, "but our goal is not just to get better, our goal is to get better and win at the same time."

Notes

Beltran is the first player in the majors with 30 homers and 30 doubles this season. Needing a homer to complete a cycle, he grounded out in the ninth. ... The attendance of 42,507 was the fourth-largest crowd at RFK Stadium this season.

 
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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Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

A. Soriano
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4111101
Paul Lo Duca, C5111003
Carlos Beltran, CF5131000
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000102
David Wright, 3B4210013
Jose Valentin, 2B4011012
Michael Tucker, LF1001210
Lastings Milledge, RF4011012
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000
John Maine, P1100011
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000
   a- Endy Chavez, PH-RF1000000
Totals336864514 
a-lined out for Feliciano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Beltran (, Schroder), David Wright (, Hughes)
3B - Jose Reyes (, Bergmann), Carlos Beltran (, Bergmann)
SF - Michael Tucker ()
SH - John Maine ()
RBI - Jose Reyes (), Paul Lo Duca (), Carlos Beltran (), Jose Valentin (), Michael Tucker (), Lastings Milledge ()
Team LOB - 8
New York Mets
John Maine 5.1444162
Pedro Feliciano (BS,; W,-) 1.2100010
Aaron Heilman (H,) 1100010
Billy Wagner (S,) 1000020
WP - Pedro Feliciano ()
Pitches-Strikes - John Maine 89-59, Pedro Feliciano 26-18, Aaron Heilman 15-9, Billy Wagner 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Maine 7-3, Pedro Feliciano 3-1, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - John Maine 21, Pedro Feliciano 6, Aaron Heilman 4, Billy Wagner 3
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF4112010
Felipe Lopez, SS4120000
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000002
Nick Johnson, 1B4122011
Austin Kearns, RF4000031
Marlon Anderson, 2B2000101
    Chris Schroder, P0000000
    Saul Rivera, P0000000
   a- Damian Jackson, PH1000010
Alex Escobar, CF4000021
Brian Schneider, C3000000
Jason Bergmann, P1000010
    Travis Hughes, P0000000
   b- Bernie Castro, PH-2B2110010
Totals334641106 
a-struck out for Rivera in the 9th
b-singled for Hughes in the 6th
Batting
HR - Alfonso Soriano (, Maine), Nick Johnson (, Maine)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (), Nick Johnson 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Nick Johnson ()
SB - Felipe Lopez (, 2nd base off Maine/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 3
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann 5433240
Travis Hughes 1211200
Chris Schroder (L,-) 1222010
Saul Rivera 2000000
IBB - Reyes by Travis Hughes
HBP - Maine (by Jason Bergmann), Wright (by Chris Schroder)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 91-60, Travis Hughes 21-9, Chris Schroder 22-17, Saul Rivera 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 4-7, Travis Hughes 2-1, Chris Schroder 1-1, Saul Rivera 4-2
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 22, Travis Hughes 7, Chris Schroder 6, Saul Rivera 6
Game Information
Attendance - 42507
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Ted Barrett