Wagner blows another save as Delgado lifts Mets in 12th

NEW YORK (AP) -- After another blown save, Billy Wagner was

bailed out by the other big star the New York Mets acquired last


Carlos Delgado homered leading off the 12th inning Wednesday

night, giving New York a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates

after Wagner cost Pedro Martinez his sixth win.

"We're all behind Billy," Delgado said. "He's going to save a

lot more games than he's going to blow. We want him on the mound

every night in the ninth inning when we've got a lead. It's as

simple as that."

Substitute outfielder Endy Chavez sparked New York's offense

from the No. 8 spot on a rainy night at Shea Stadium, and Delgado

drove in two runs.

Handed a 3-1 lead in the ninth, Wagner walked two and then gave

up consecutive RBI singles to Jose Hernandez and Ronny Paulino with

two outs. Wagner, who signed a $43 million, four-year contract in

the offseason, has three blown saves in 10 chances.

"Pedro pitched a great game, the team played well and I didn't

do my job," he said. "Tonight I beat myself, and that's what's


His latest failure prevented Martinez from becoming the first

six-game winner in the major leagues. Martinez fanned nine in six

sharp innings and was one out from winning his first six starts for

the second time in his career.

"Billy is the same regardless of what happened. I know he

probably doesn't feel as good as he would like to, but he

battled," Martinez said. "He's going to be right out there

tomorrow and ready to go."

Jose Reyes hit an RBI triple and Delgado had a run-scoring

double for the Mets, who sent Pittsburgh to its 14th loss in 16

road games this season. The punchless Pirates (8-21) have scored

three runs or fewer in 15 of their past 17 games.

"We are giving ourselves opportunities to win," manager Jim

Tracy said. "They got a big hit we were not able to get, but we

want to be in positions like we were in tonight."

Delgado drove a 1-1 pitch from Mike Gonzalez (0-2) over the

left-center fence for his 11th homer.

"I threw him a fastball. It was down and away. He just went

down and got it," Gonzalez said.

With his 380th career homer, Delgado passed Hall of Famers Tony

Perez and Orlando Cepeda.

"I'm flattered," Delgado said. "But the way I look at it,

I've got a few years left."

It was his fourth game-ending shot and first since July 8, 2004,

with Toronto against Seattle.

"Best feeling in the world. You can jog around the bases and

nobody can get you out," he said.

Chad Bradford (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

With a steady rain falling from the third through the seventh,

Martinez held Pittsburgh in check on only three hits.

Chavez started in right field as Xavier Nady was rested. Chavez

went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a spectacular, diving catch in

the 11th. By the late innings, a sparse crowd thinned by the rain

was chanting "Endy! Endy!"

Mets manager Willie Randolph explained before the game that he

likes the way Chavez is swinging the bat and he liked the matchup

against starter Ian Snell.

Chavez has 10 hits in his last 16 at-bats (.625). NL

East-leading New York has won six of eight.

"The best part of the night is that we got the job done,"

Chavez said.

Martinez allowed only a solo homer to Freddy Sanchez in the

first. The right-hander walked one and left for a pinch-hitter

after 77 pitches.

With the score tied at 1, slumping slugger Cliff Floyd singled

through the soggy infield to start the sixth and moved up on Ramon

Castro's sacrifice. Chavez hit a sinking drive to left-center that

glanced off the glove of diving left fielder Jason Bay for an RBI


Floyd scored with a slide and then stood up, covered in mud.

One out later, the speedy Reyes hit a liner down the right-field

line and practically splashed his way around the bases for a

run-scoring triple that made it 3-1.

Sanchez connected with two outs in the first. Kaz Matsui doubled

in the bottom half and scored on Delgado's two-out double to left.

Snell fanned a career-best nine in 5 2-3 innings. He allowed

three runs and seven hits.

"Pedro Martinez had a terrific changeup and curveball. There

was really very little opportunity to do anything offensively,"

Tracy said. "We did some terrific things in the ninth inning when

we got the two big hits to tie the game."Game notes
Martinez won his first eight starts with Montreal in 1997

en route to the first of his three Cy Young Awards, according to

the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez threw a

hitless 10th, extending his scoreless streak to 21 innings dating

to last year with the Dodgers -- including 18 this year. ...

Pittsburgh RHP Roberto Hernandez, who had a strong season as a

setup man with the Mets last year, worked a hitless 10th. ... The

four hits matched a career high for Chavez, done four times

previously. The last was in September 2004 with Montreal. ... The

Mets announced that fans can exchange their stubs for free tickets

to a June game against Cincinnati.