Chicago at New York

Chi. Cubs (96-62)2010003006111
N.Y. Mets (88-71) «1002001217101

Swinging in the rain: Beltran's hit in ninth caps Mets' rally past Cubs wire reports

NEW YORK -- With a desperate rally in the rain, Carlos Beltran and the New York Mets kept their playoff destiny in their own hands.

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Beltran singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning and New York beat the Chicago Cubs 7-6 on Thursday night for a huge victory that halted its late-season slide.

"I was going to the plate thinking I have to come through," Beltran said. "We have three games left and it's going to be hard."

After trailing by three runs in the seventh, New York fought back to move within one game of NL East-leading Philadelphia with three to play. The Mets also stayed tied atop the wild-card standings with Milwaukee, which beat Pittsburgh 5-1 in 10 innings.

"The one thing about this team is it has responded to adversity," New York manager Jerry Manuel said. "Tonight was another example of that."

Rich Harden pitched six solid innings in his final playoff tuneup for the NL Central champions and lightly used rookie Micah Hoffpauir went 5-for-5 with five RBI and his first two major league home runs -- including a tiebreaking shot in the seventh off Ricardo Rincon that gave Chicago a 6-3 lead.

"He put on a show tonight. It was fun to watch," teammate Derrek Lee said. "I think the Brewers and the Phillies, they couldn't be disappointed in our effort."

But the Cubs, resting most of their stars, couldn't hold on.

"From top to bottom on this roster, guys want to fight and guys want to win," Reed Johnson said. "We're not going to cruise."

The Mets will play Florida in the final regular-season games at Shea Stadium this weekend. Philadelphia will play host to Washington, while the Cubs visit Milwaukee.

Pitching what could be his final game for the Mets, Pedro Martinez struck out a season-high nine and left to a warm ovation with the score tied at 3 in the seventh. He pointed to the crowd and raised his fist high.

"I appreciate their support, in case this is my last game, my last start," Martinez said. "I wish I could continue and come back with the Mets. But this isn't the time to think about those things. ... I couldn't go by without saying thanks."

After he was gone, New York tied it in the eighth on big hits by a pair of unlikely players: spare part Ramon Martinez and third-string catcher Robinson Cancel.

Jose Reyes singled off Kevin Hart (2-2) to start the ninth and swiped second for his third steal of the game as David Wright fanned for the second out. Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked and Beltran lined a 2-0 pitch off the glove of a diving Hoffpauir at first base.

The ball trickled down the right-field line as Reyes scored easily, giving the Mets their second victory in six games since they grabbed the division lead with a victory last Friday at Atlanta.

Beltran was mobbed by soaked teammates near first base, a sigh of relief -- for one night, at least -- as New York tries to avoid its second successive September collapse.

Cancel doubled leading off the seventh and scored on Reyes' grounder. Then, with two outs and none on in the eighth, New York hit four consecutive singles to tie it.

Ramon Martinez, making his first start for the Mets after a helpful performance off the bench Wednesday, cut it to 6-5 with a single. Cancel, added to the lineup because of Brian Schneider's aching back, lined a 1-2 pitch to right off Bob Howry.

Kosuke Fukudome's strong throw home was up the line but it arrived ahead of Ryan Church, who danced around catcher Koyie Hill on the wet dirt. With both players struggling to maintain their footing, Church slipped to the ground, then lunged and touched the plate with his hand for the tying run.

Hill threw his arms up in disbelief and the crowd responded with a thunderous roar. A pulsing Shea Stadium shook under the feet of jumping fans.

Joe Smith (6-3) escaped a jam in the top of the ninth, and the Mets rebounded from a demoralizing, 10-inning loss Wednesday night.

Wright hit a sacrifice fly in the first for his 124th RBI, matching Mike Piazza's team record set in 1999.

Church's two-run double with two outs in the fourth tied it at 3. Church was 3-for-3 with a walk and his first extra-base hit since Sept. 9.


  • Pedro Martinez tied Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 13th place on the career strikeout list at 3,117. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed 23 first-inning runs in 20 starts this season.
  • Manuel indicated he won't use RHP John Maine this year. Maine, who has a bone spur in his right shoulder and will need surgery after the season, was activated from the disabled list Wednesday. But Manuel said he's not comfortable asking a youngster to pitch with pain in the heat of a pennant race after missing 4½ weeks.
  • Cubs manager Lou Piniella said it would be nice to get RHP Carlos Zambrano some work Sunday as a tuneup for the playoffs. Zambrano lasted 4 2/3 innings and 87 pitches Wednesday night against the Mets.
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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Ryan Church shows off his fancy footwork, avoiding being tagged out at home in the eighth inning.  (AP)
Ryan Church shows off his fancy footwork, avoiding being tagged out at home in the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0

M. Hoffpauir
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 2

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Felix Pie, LF5110022 .244
Ryan Theriot, SS2200301 .302
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B5255000 .387
Jim Edmonds, CF4100124 .232
Mike Fontenot, 2B4030101 .295
Casey McGehee, 3B5011025 .222
Kosuke Fukudome, RF3000224 .258
Koyie Hill, C5000033 .111
Rich Harden, P3010010 .111
    Chad Gaudin, P0000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH1000000 .307
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
   b- Daryle Ward, PH1000002 .216
    Kevin Hart, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Gaudin in the 8th
b-grounded out for Howry in the 9th
2B - Micah Hoffpauir (8, P. Martinez), Mike Fontenot (22, Rincon)
HR - Micah Hoffpauir 2 (2, P. Martinez, Rincon)
RBI - Micah Hoffpauir 5 (8), Casey McGehee (5)
2-OUT RBI - Micah Hoffpauir (1), Casey McGehee (1)
SB - Felix Pie (3, 2nd base off P. Martinez/Cancel)
Team LOB - 12
DP - McGehee-Theriot-Hoffpauir
E - Micah Hoffpauir (2, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden 6232540 2.07
Chad Gaudin (H,4) 1111000 4.28
Neal Cotts (H,9) 0.2322000 4.41
Bob Howry (BS,4) 0.1200010 5.17
Kevin Hart (L,2-2) 0.2211120 7.01
IBB - Delgado by Kevin Hart
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 98-49, Chad Gaudin 16-12, Neal Cotts 20-13, Bob Howry 12-8, Kevin Hart 25-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 5-9, Chad Gaudin 2-1, Neal Cotts 1-0
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 25, Chad Gaudin 4, Neal Cotts 4, Bob Howry 3, Kevin Hart 5
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4211100 .299
Daniel Murphy, LF5000023 .325
David Wright, 3B2111210 .300
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000113 .273
Carlos Beltran, CF4221101 .282
Ryan Church, RF3132100 .284
Ramon Martinez, 2B4011014 .286
Robinson Cancel, C4121001 .245
Pedro Martinez, P2000010 .154
    Ricardo Rincon, P0000000 .000
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .667
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH1000001 .213
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
   b- Damion Easley, PH1000012 .270
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Stokes in the 7th
b-struck out for Schoeneweis in the 8th
2B - Ryan Church (14, Harden), Robinson Cancel (2, Gaudin)
SF - David Wright (11)
RBI - Jose Reyes (68), David Wright (124), Carlos Beltran (110), Ryan Church 2 (49), Ramon Martinez (2), Robinson Cancel (5)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (36), Ryan Church 2 (16), Ramon Martinez (2), Robinson Cancel (3)
SB - Jose Reyes 3 (55, 2nd base off Harden/Hill, 2nd base off Harden/Hill, 2nd base off Hart/Hill), Carlos Beltran (25, 3rd base off Howry/Hill)
CS - Ryan Church (3, 2nd base by Harden/Hill)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Martinez-Reyes-Delgado
E - David Wright (16, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez 6755491 5.61
Ricardo Rincon 0.1211001 4.50
Brian Stokes 0.2000110 3.41
Scott Schoeneweis 1100110 3.20
Pedro Feliciano0100000 4.08
Joe Smith (W,6-3) 1000110 3.61
IBB - Fukudome by Brian Stokes, Fukudome by Joe Smith
WP - Joe Smith (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 99-67, Ricardo Rincon 8-6, Brian Stokes 15-7, Scott Schoeneweis 22-13, Pedro Feliciano 5-3, Joe Smith 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 8-1, Scott Schoeneweis 2-0, Joe Smith 2-0
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 29, Ricardo Rincon 3, Brian Stokes 3, Scott Schoeneweis 5, Pedro Feliciano 1, Joe Smith 4
Game Information
Attendance - 51174
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Jim Wolf