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  Saturday, Apr. 22 1:10pm ET
Five-run 6th gives Mets cushion for sweep

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Rey Ordonez highlighted a five-run sixth inning with a two-run single as the New York Mets completed a doubleheader sweep with a 7-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Rey Ordonez

Ordonez was 1-for-20 with runners in scoring position before his ground ball up the middle off reliever Mark Guthrie eluded a drawn-in infield, plating a pair of runs and giving the Mets a 5-3 lead.

"Rey had two big hits for us today," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "That last one was a big one. He was a little tired at the end of the day, but he is showing better balance at the plate."

Robin Ventura started the bottom of the sixth with a homer and Cubs third baseman Shane Andrews added to it with a throwing error that allowed a run to score and New York to go ahead 7-3.

Benny Agbayani had two hits and two RBI after helping the Mets to an 8-3 win in the first game with a pinch two-run single during a five-run eighth inning.

Dennis Cook (3-0) picked up the win, New York's sixth straight, after giving up a run over 1 1/3 innings in relief of knuckleballer Dennis Springer.

Springer, who was recalled from the minor leagues Tuesday, carried a shutout into the fifth in his Mets debut. He left after 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.

"It's been a couple of years since I caught a knuckler," Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. "He has a good one. He can throw strikes with it. His was moving pretty well. It's different. You just do the best you can with it. He did a good job."

Turk Wendell pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in place of Cook and Armando Benitez picked up his major league-leading seventh save, despite surrendering a two-run homer to Henry Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth.

Sammy Sosa and Rodriguez each had three hits for Chicago, which has lost five of its last six games and was swept in a doubleheader against New York for the second time in as many seasons.

Kyle Farnsworth (1-3) gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings for the Cubs, whose beleagured bullpen allowed just one unearned run over three innings after allowing five in the eighth this afternoon.

The Mets opened the scoring in the first on Agbayani's two-out, two-run single off Farnsworth.

Springer cruised into the fifth, when he surrendered an RBI single to Jeff Huson, but got Ricky Gutierrez on an inning-ending grounder with runners at second and third.

"I was excited," Springer said. "Once we got a couple of runs, I felt I could play around a bit. I was able to throw a couple of fastballs right down the middle that they just missed or popped up. ... For a first outing it was a very positive one."

The Cubs chased Springer in the sixth. Rodriguez followed Sosa's one-out single with a double, and Jeff Reed doubled home both for a 3-2 lead.

Cook entered and recorded the biggest out of the game without throwing a pitch, picking off Roosevelt Brown at first base for the second out.

"It absolutely killed us," said Cubs manager Don Baylor, who replaced Brown after the inning. "It was the difference in the game."

Cook then walked Andrews intentionally and got Farnsworth to bounce into a force play with runners at the corners to end the inning.

Ventura gave the Mets the lead for good in the sixth, battling Farnsworth to a full count before hitting his fourth homer.

"I fell behind Ventura and he knew what was coming," Farnsworth said. "I was picking and he was able to wait on his pitch. Stuff started falling apart after that. The team came back and I put the blame on myself."

Farnsworth then allowed a double and walk before peeling off Kyle Abbott's sacrifice attempt down the third-base line, which turned into a bunt single and loaded the bases.

"You can't make mistakes against a team like the Mets and expect to win," Grace said. "We can't afford for things like that to happen."

"It was just a mixup," Farnsworth said. "I thought one play was on and it was the other one. Just a mixup. There is not much you can say about it."

Guthrie replaced Farnsworth and allowed Ordonez's single that made it 5-3. After a sacrifice by Cook, Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly, Derek Bell walked and Andrews threw wild to first on Piazza's grounder, allowing Ordonez to score.

Rodriguez doubled home a run in the seventh to make it 7-4, but Wendell replaced Cook and struck out pinch-hitter Glenallen Hill with runners at second and third to end the inning.

Benitez retired the first two batters in the ninth before Sosa singled and Rodriguez hit his third homer of the season. But Benitez overmatched rookie pinch-hitter Tarrik Brock, striking him out to end the game.

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(2nd game)

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