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Wright makes sure El Duque's effort doesn't go to waste

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Orlando Hernandez hadn't faced Greg Maddux since the 1999 World Series, and their latest matchup felt every bit like a duel in October.

If they meet again, it will be.

Hernandez allowed one earned run in seven innings, and David Wright's two-run single after Maddux left tagged the 40-year-old pitcher with a loss Saturday as the New York Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2.

Just as El Duque did pitching for the Yankees in the World Series opener seven years ago, he got the best of Maddux again.

"For me it was kind of cool because it brought back good memories," said Maddux, who was pitching for Atlanta then.

The Mets are all but in the playoffs, and the Dodgers are in a fight to get there.

New York won for the second time in three games against the Dodgers in the matchup of NL division leaders. The Mets lowered their magic number for clinching the East to five, while Los Angeles maintained a 1½-game lead over San Diego, which lost to San Francisco 5-4 in 11 innings Saturday.

"I'm not thinking of the postseason. I'm thinking of my next start," Hernandez said. "When you're not clinched, it's no good to think about the playoffs."

Wright went 3-for-3, and his go-ahead hit with two outs in the sixth off Brett Tomko, the third Dodgers pitcher of the inning, gave the Mets their major league-leading 29th one-run victory.

The Dodgers thought Wright should've been called out on a close 2-2 slider, but the young third baseman hung in and hit a full-count fastball up the middle to score Jose Valentin and Carlos Beltran.

"He did a good job making pitches," Wright said. "It was a battle all along."

Maddux was staked to a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth but left as the losing pitcher because of his intentional walk to Beltran -- his last hitter earning the 40-year-old right-hander's only free pass.

Maddux (12-13) lost his second game in a row and fell to 3-2 in eight outings with the Dodgers. He allowed all three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, quite an improvement from his previous two starts this season against New York when he gave up 12 earned runs in 13 innings with the Chicago Cubs.

Hernandez (10-10) was masterful, keeping the Dodgers off balance with changeups, curves and sliders that hovered in the 70-80 mph range, and fastballs that reached the low 90s.

"He's a master at what he does," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He can go up in the zone and overpower you when he has to with his fastball, then he can also drop and finesse you."

After Rafael Furcal's leadoff double on the second pitch of the game, El Duque retired 15 consecutive hitters before running into trouble in the sixth.

No. 8 hitter Russell Martin singled and advanced to second when Maddux faked a bunt and swung away. Shortstop Jose Reyes was covering second, and had to range deep in the hole to field the grounder. His throw to first bounced in and out of the glove of first baseman Carlos Delgado, allowing Maddux to reach on the error.

Furcal sacrificed, and Kenny Lofton drove in Martin with a single to center. Maddux advanced to third on the base hit, then was caught in a rundown when Nomar Garciaparra grounded into a fielder's choice. J.D. Drew followed with a broken-bat RBI single to put Los Angeles in front 2-1.

Hernandez induced Jeff Kent to ground out with runners on first and second to limit the damage.

He worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh and finished by getting pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson on a broken-bat grounder. Hernandez yielded four hits, one walk and struck out six. Billy Wagner recorded three outs for his 36th save in 41 chances and 14th straight.

With one out in the sixth, Valentin doubled, bringing Dodgers manager Grady Little out of the dugout. Maddux walked Beltran and was lifted after only 72 pitches, worn out after running the bases.

"I was tired," Maddux said. "We talked about the intentional walk and I was OK with it."

Tim Hamulack retired Delgado -- who hit his 37th homer in the second inning -- on a long fly to center before Wright's hit gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. Hernandez won for the third time in five starts and has allowed only two earned runs in three outings since yielding a career-worst 11 in four innings at Philadelphia on Aug. 15.

Notes

  • Mets RHP Pedro Martinez pitched a four-inning simulated game and reported no problems. Martinez, out since Aug. 15 with a strained right calf, threw 75 pitches -- 45 in game conditions. He is expected to start next weekend in Pittsburgh.
  • Delgado was 3-for-21 off Maddux and 2-for-15 on the homestand before his homer.
  • The Dodgers held a closed-door pregame meeting. Little declined to discuss it.
 
Copyright 2015 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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David Wright keeps his eye on the ball after smacking the go-ahead single in the sixth inning.  (AP)
David Wright keeps his eye on the ball after smacking the go-ahead single in the sixth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Wright
AB 3
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
New York

O. Hernandez
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3010000 .293
Kenny Lofton, CF3111000 .306
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B4000001 .306
J.D. Drew, RF4011011 .276
Jeff Kent, 2B4010022 .277
    Jason Repko, PR0000000 .254
Andre Ethier, LF2000110 .325
   a- Olmedo Saenz, PH1000011 .287
Wilson Betemit, 3B3000011 .274
Russell Martin, C3110001 .289
Greg Maddux, P2000010 .119
    Tim Hamulack, P0000000 .000
    Brett Tomko, P0000000 .120
   b- Marlon Anderson, PH1000001 .279
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
Totals30252178 
a-struck out for Ethier in the 9th
b-grounded out for Tomko in the 7th
Batting
2B - Rafael Furcal (30, Hernandez)
SH - Rafael Furcal (5), Kenny Lofton (6)
RBI - Kenny Lofton (33), J.D. Drew (82)
2-OUT RBI - J.D. Drew (28)
CS - Jason Repko (4, 2nd base by Wagner/Stinnett)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Garciaparra-Furcal-Maddux, Betemit-Kent-Garciaparra
E - Jeff Kent (7, )
Los Angeles Dodgers
Greg Maddux (L,12-13) 5.1533131 4.38
Tim Hamulack (H,4) 0.1000000 5.18
Brett Tomko (BS,2) 0.1100010 4.54
Joe Beimel 2100100 3.26
IBB - Beltran by Greg Maddux, Beltran by Joe Beimel
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 72-46, Tim Hamulack 2-2, Brett Tomko 9-6, Joe Beimel 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 5-7, Joe Beimel 4-1
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 21, Tim Hamulack 1, Brett Tomko 2, Joe Beimel 7
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4010012 .299
Jose Valentin, 2B4110002 .284
Carlos Beltran, CF2100200 .284
Carlos Delgado, 1B4111001 .266
David Wright, 3B3032000 .311
Shawn Green, RF3000023 .283
Cliff Floyd, LF3000001 .237
    Endy Chavez, LF0000000 .310
Kelly Stinnett, C3010010 .229
Orlando Hernandez, P1000000 .200
   a- Lastings Milledge, PH1000000 .230
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Totals28373249 
a-grounded out for Hernandez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (28, Beimel), Jose Valentin (23, Maddux), David Wright (37, Maddux)
HR - Carlos Delgado (37, Maddux)
SH - Orlando Hernandez (5)
RBI - Carlos Delgado (101), David Wright 2 (109)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright 2 (41)
SB - Jose Reyes (57, 3rd base off Beimel/Martin)
CS - Lastings Milledge (2, 2nd base by Beimel/Martin)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Stinnett-Valentin
E - Jose Reyes (13, Play went 5-2-5-1)
New York Mets
Orlando Hernandez (W,10-10) 7421160 4.96
Aaron Heilman (H,26) 1000000 3.79
Billy Wagner (S,36) 1100010 2.20
Pitches-Strikes - Orlando Hernandez 91-56, Aaron Heilman 7-5, Billy Wagner 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Orlando Hernandez 8-8, Aaron Heilman 3-0, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - Orlando Hernandez 27, Aaron Heilman 3, Billy Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 47064
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Eric Cooper