Delgado, Mets Rally for Five Runs in the Eighth, Beat Braves

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The New York Sun

Carlos Delgado hit a go-ahead double off the left-center fence to end the Mets’ long stretch of bases-loaded futility, and New York broke loose in the eighth inning to rally past the Atlanta Braves 7-3 last night.

Damion Easley delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded and Ramon Castro added an RBI double to cap a five-run eighth against Atlanta’s bullpen.

One night after their six-game winning streak was snapped in Pittsburgh, the Mets won for the 10th time in 13 games and maintained their 1.5-game lead in the NL East over Philadelphia.

New York received a strong effort from its unsteady bullpen, including newcomer Luis Ayala, after getting more bad news about All-Star Billy Wagner. An MRI earlier in the day showed the injured closer has increased swelling in his left elbow, so he’s out indefinitely. The Mets don’t know when he might be able to return to the mound, if at all, this season.

The eighth-inning outburst left Scott Schoeneweis to close this one out with a one-hit ninth in a non-save situation. Aaron Heilman (3-7) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Oliver Perez kept New York in the game by allowing three runs in 6.1 innings against a lineup that had Omar Infante batting cleanup. Infante has three home runs this season.

Jeff Bennett (2-5) walked consecutive batters with one out in the eighth. Carlos Beltran’s dribbler for an infield single loaded the bases for Delgado, who popped out with the sacks full to end the eighth inning Monday, keeping the score tied.

This time, he drove left-hander Will Ohman’s pitch the other way and clapped his hands as he cruised into second with the Mets up 4-3.


BLUE JAYS 2, YANKEES 1 Johnny Damon allowed two balls to glance off his glove, including an eighth-inning drive by Marco Scutaro that became the go-ahead double in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2-1 victory over the Yankees on last night.

A.J. Burnett earned a win in his sixth straight start, and first baseman Lyle Overbay helped preserve the lead in the top of the ninth when he made a brilliant throw to get Alex Rodriguez trying to stretch a hit into a double leading off.

New York, which got Hideki Matsui back from the 15-day DL, dropped 11 games back of Tampa Bay, the Yankees’ largest division deficit this season. New York, whose streak of postseason appearances could end at 13, began the night 5.5 games back of Boston in the wild-card race.

With the score tied 1-all in the eighth, Joe Inglett hit a two-out single to center field off Jose Veras (3-2). Scutaro followed with a deep drive to center. Damon, the center fielder, settled under the ball on the warning track, but it ticked off the top of his glove and off the wall, allowing Inglett to score.

Blue Jays stopper B.J. Ryan then got an assist from Overbay in closing out the Yankees. Rodriguez led off the ninth with a flair down the right-field line that bounced off the turf and into foul territory. Overbay, chased the ball down, sliding on a knee to grab it before it went off the wall, and made a strong throw to second as he popped off the ground to nab A-Rod as he slid in head first.

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