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.
- It was the 41st multi-homer game of Delgado's career and the five RBI matched his total from his previous 10 games combined. The Mets have had four players -- Wright, Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran and now Delgado -- hit two homers in a game this season.
- Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said his left elbow tightened up and swelled a bit after being hit by a pitch, but didn't believe it was a serious injury.
- Rain began falling several times during the game, sending many fans scurrying for cover, but play was never halted.
- Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez made the final out of the first, third, fifth and seventh innings, and is 0-for-8 in the series.
- Attendance was 34,505, the Marlins' biggest home crowd since 40,397 for the home opener against Philadelphia.