|N.Y. Mets (31-17) «||1||1||2||0||3||0||0||0||0||7||12||0|
Batting in the No. 5 slot, one spot below his usual cleanup position, Delgado ended a long power drought with two home runs and five RBI and carried the Mets past the Florida Marlins 7-2 on Saturday night.
"You find that groove, that power swing, it's been that way my whole career," Delgado said as he pedaled on an exercise bike after the game. "I've been feeling better at the plate. Once you start hitting better, you can find that groove."
Delgado hit his first home run in 47 at-bats in the third inning, added a three-run shot in the fifth for his first multi-homer game since Aug. 22 and scored three times to help New York move a season-high 3½ games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East.
"It's a matter of time," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "A little later than expected, but we're hoping he can carry us for a while."
Maine (6-2) -- who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Florida on April 18 -- allowed two runs and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts in six innings for his first win in four starts.
"Obviously, we've seen him a lot better," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But he was good enough to get us out."
Maine started the year 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA, but was 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in three starts since May 9, giving up 20 hits and 12 walks in that span. But he never was in trouble against the Marlins, who were held without an extra-base hit for the second time in 49 games this season.
"It was an attitude thing," Maine said. "I was just fed up with the way I was pitching."
Delgado was batting .209 when Randolph dropped him from cleanup before Wednesday's game in Atlanta, but has gone 8-for-16 since to raise that average to .235 -- with five hits in the first two games of this series.
He led off the second with a single and scored three batters later on a RBI groundout by Carlos Gomez, who the Mets started in right field because Shawn Green broke his foot Friday night. That run put the Mets up 2-0, but came at a price; Gomez strained his left hamstring on the play and left the game.
Florida got within 2-1 when Olivo's single drove in Josh Willingham in the bottom of the second, but Delgado blew the game open with a pair of home runs -- his fourth and fifth of the season -- that sailed a combined 878 feet to center field off Marlins starter Wes Obermueller (1-3).
"It doesn't matter what he comes in hitting," Gonzalez said. "He's always a dangerous guy and he proved that tonight."
Obermueller allowed at least one baserunner in each of his four-plus innings, giving up eight hits and seven earned runs to see his ERA jump from 3.71 to 5.28.
"You've got to be on your game with that lineup ... and I was off my game," Obermueller said.
|Carlos Delgado is a familiar sight at home plate with two homers, three runs and five RBI. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||4||.308|
|Endy Chavez, LF-RF||5||1||3||0||0||1||0||.342|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||3||1||1||1||1||0||3||.299|
|David Wright, 3B||2||2||0||0||3||0||1||.264|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||5||3||3||5||0||1||4||.235|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.329|
|Ambiorix Burgos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ruben Gotay, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Aaron Sele, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Damion Easley, 2B||4||0||1||0||1||0||1||.273|
|Carlos Gomez, RF||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.250|
|David Newhan, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.171|
|John Maine, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||2||.167|
|Ramon Castro, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.238|
|a-flied out for Burgos in the 9th|
|3B - Endy Chavez (2, Obermueller)|
|HR - Carlos Delgado 2 (5, Obermueller, Obermueller)|
|SF - Carlos Beltran (4)|
|SH - John Maine (3)|
|RBI - Carlos Beltran (33), Carlos Delgado 5 (28), Carlos Gomez (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Delgado 2 (11)|
|SB - Jose Reyes (27, 2nd base off Gardner/Olivo), Endy Chavez (2, 2nd base off Messenger/Olivo), Paul Lo Duca (2, 2nd base off Obermueller/Olivo)|
|CS - Endy Chavez (2, 2nd base by Obermueller/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|New York Mets|
|John Maine (W,6-2)||6||4||2||2||4||8||0||2.79|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Maine 104-68, Ambiorix Burgos 25-16, Aaron Sele 16-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Maine 6-4, Ambiorix Burgos 1-4, Aaron Sele 1-0|
|Batters Faced - John Maine 26, Ambiorix Burgos 7, Aaron Sele 4|
|Alfredo Amezaga, CF||5||0||2||1||0||0||1||.244|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.260|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.330|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.307|
|Josh Willingham, LF||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||.275|
|Jeremy Hermida, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.256|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.237|
|Aaron Boone, 1B||3||1||0||0||1||2||4||.269|
|Wes Obermueller, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.111|
|Randy Messenger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Todd Linden, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.194|
|Lee Gardner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Joe Borchard, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.199|
|a-struck out for Messenger in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Gardner in the 9th|
|SH - Randy Messenger (1)|
|RBI - Alfredo Amezaga (11), Miguel Olivo (22)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alfredo Amezaga (3), Miguel Olivo (5)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Wes Obermueller (L,1-3)||4||8||7||7||3||1||2||5.28|
|IBB - Beltran by Lee Gardner|
|HBP - Lo Duca (by Wes Obermueller)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wes Obermueller 91-48, Randy Messenger 37-26, Lee Gardner 35-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wes Obermueller 4-6, Randy Messenger 4-4, Lee Gardner 2-3|
|Batters Faced - Wes Obermueller 23, Randy Messenger 12, Lee Gardner 9|
|Attendance - 34505|
|Game Time - 2:49|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Joe West|