NEW YORK // Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lead the New York Mets to a 4-2 win at the Milwaukee Brewers and a two-game lead in the National League East The Mets' 18th win in 25 games combined with the Philadelphia Phillies' 7-4 loss at Washington gave New York breathing room atop the division as the season enters its final month.
"It says a lot about the character and the will we have with this ballclub," Delgado said. "We got it done." The homer was the 462nd of Delgado's career, tying him with Jose Canseco for 31st on the all-time list. The veteran slugger has been in sensational form of late - hitting 20 homers and driving in 60 runs since June 27, the most by any NL player during that period. "He has been outstanding," the New York manager Jerry Manuel said. "He just seems to come up at the right time so often."
Delgado's blast to the right field off the relief pitcher Eric Gagne put the Mets in front 3-2 and Ryan Church then provided insurance with a run-scoring double. While Milwaukee's bullpen struggled in relief of starter Ben Sheets, who left after five innings with a groin injury, the beleaguered Mets bullpen threw three shutout innings. Nelson Figueroa pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and picked up the win as relief of starter Johan Santana.
Three other relievers provided two more hitless innings, including Luis Ayala who pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances. Ryan Braun had three hits and drove in a run for the Brewers, who still hold a five-game lead in the wild-card standings over the Phillies. The Phillies were undone by an in-form Washington who claimed their seventh victory in a row. Pitcher Tim Redding conceded just three runs and two hits in five innings. * Reuters