Mets 2, Nationals 1

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NEW YORK (AP)—The New York Mets got another spotless performance from their revamped bullpen while Washington reliever Gary Majewski threw the game away.

Endy Chavez scored on Majewski’s throwing error in the ninth and three New York relievers combined for three shutout innings in the Mets’ 2-1 win over the Nationals on Monday night.

“You hear opposing teams or you hear yourself always saying, `Get into the bullpen,’ but I don’t think guys want to get into our bullpen too often,” Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd said. “We’ve got a good one, and we’re going to ride ‘em ‘til the wheels fall off.”

Chavez was brought in to run for 47-year-old Julio Franco, who walked with one out in the inning. Chavez moved to second on a single to left by Jose Reyes. When Paul Lo Duca hit a bouncer back to Majewski (1-2), it looked as if the Nationals might be able to turn a double play and send the game into extra innings. Lo Duca even threw his bat to the ground with a look of frustration.

But Majewski’s throw to second was high, glancing off the outstretched glove of shortstop Royce Clayton, past second baseman Jose Vidro and into center field.

“I made a bad throw,” Majewski said. “I’m not going to try to blame it on anybody else. I should have planted my feet and made the throw.”

Chavez slowed slightly as he approached third, then took off for home with the winning run.

“If you look at it, it didn’t look like anybody was covering the base. It looked like there was a little indecision,” Lo Duca said of the errant throw. “It’s all about placement so I guess I hit it in the right spot.”

New York’s Billy Wagner (2-0) was overpowering in striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth.

“Electric,” teammate Carlos Delgado said with a smile.

That followed flawless performances by Pedro Feliciano and Duaner Sanchez, who each threw one hitless inning of relief. Sanchez has not allowed a run in 17 innings this season.

The Mets, who left 11 runners on base, had several good scoring chances. In the third, Xavier Nady led off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. After Kaz Matsui flied out, starting pitcher Victor Zambrano was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and third with one out. But Reyes struck out and Lo Duca hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

In the sixth, the Mets had runners at second and third with two outs but pinch-hitter Jose Valentin flied out to right.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Brian Schneider singled in Nick Johnson. Delgado tied it in the sixth with his 10th homer of the season. It was his sixth career home run off Washington starter Ramon Ortiz.

Delgado’s drive was also the 379th of his career, tying him with Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 54th on the career list.

The Mets got a solid outing from the maligned Zambrano, who entered the game with a 1-2 record and an ERA of 9.64. He went six innings, giving up one run on five hits.

“He’s taking a lot of heat,” Lo Duca said. “Sometimes you use lose your confidence. This was big for him. We’re going to need him to win, and I told him that.”

Ortiz allowed one run and seven hits in six innings for the Nationals. He struck out two and walked two.


: Washington RHP Livan Hernandez grounded out to second in a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning. … Mets RHP John Maine was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to start Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals in place of the injured Brian Bannister. It will be the first appearance with the Mets for Maine, who was acquired along with Jorge Julio in the offseason deal that sent Kris Benson to Baltimore. OF Victor Diaz was optioned to Norfolk. … Before the game a taped tribute was shown on the Shea Stadium video board highlighting the career of Franco, who became the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run when he accomplished the feat against San Diego on April 20. The video was set to Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” … It was Willie Randolph’s 100th career win as a manager.

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