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Mets rise, Cubs crumble in 9th

Delgado's single is a walkoff winner

The New York Mets spent most of yesterday afternoon resting up for the Subway Series. Then in one sudden burst, they went rushing into their biggest rivalry.

Carlos Delgado's two-run single capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning and set off a wild celebration at home plate, and the Mets startled the Chicago Cubs, 6-5.

"This is going to give us great momentum going into the weekend," Delgado said.

Manager Willie Randolph started a makeshift lineup because the Mets' rain-delayed 8-1 win Wednesday night ended at 12:53 a.m. David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes were among those scheduled to have a day off.

Instead, Wright and Beltran contributed as pinch hitters and the Mets, boosted by key hits from Carlos Gomez, Ruben Gotay, and David New han, pulled off their biggest ninth-inning comeback since 1999.

Delgado's one-out single gave the Mets a final thrill -- and their seventh win in nine games -- going into tonight's opener against the Yankees at Shea Stadium.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella watched relievers Ryan Dempster (1-2) and Scott Eyre blow the big lead. They lost for the sixth time in eight games.

"I just lost the game. There's not much to say," Dempster said. "It's tough for the other guys to clean up my garbage."

Trailing, 5-1, the Mets got going when Newhan led off the ninth with a single and Gomez singled with one out. Piniella went to the mound to lecture Dempster, who loaded the bases with a walk to Beltran.

Endy Chavez drew a walk that forced home a run, and Gotay's RBI single brought Eyre from the bullpen. Wright batted for Shawn Green and hit a single that made it 5-4. Delgado's grounder then went past the reach of diving second baseman Ryan Theriot.

The previous time the Mets overcame a four-run deficit in the ninth to win was May 23, 1999, when they scored five times off Curt Schilling to beat Philadelphia, 5-4, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

White Sox 4, Yankees 1 -- Jon Garland (3-2) limited visiting New York to a run and six hits over seven innings and Jermaine Dye homered and had four RBIs to provide Chicago's offense.

Dye, who entered the game batting .206, had a two-out RBI double in the first and hit his seventh homer, a two-run shot, in the third off Matt DeSalvo (1-1). Chicago made it 4-0 in the fourth on Dye's sacrifice fly.

DeSalvo lasted only 3 1/3 innings in his third major league start, giving up six hits and four runs.

Devil Rays 8, Rangers 6 -- Delmon Young hit a three-run homer in the fifth for Tampa Bay, and ended it in the 10th with a walkoff two-run shot off Texas's Willie Eyre (1-2).

The Devil Rays pounded out 14 hits, but had trouble shaking the Rangers after Victor Diaz tied it at 6 with a solo homer in the seventh.

Angels 7, Mariners 3 -- Bartolo Colon was strong over seven innings to improve to 5-0, and Vladimir Guerrero hit his 10th homer and drove in three runs for visiting Los Angeles.

Royals 7, Athletics 4 -- Scott Elarton (1-0) got his first win since last July, Mike Sweeney had two hits, and Kansas City took its first road series.

Giants 2, Astros 1 -- Long after Houston's Roy Oswalt and Giants rookie Tim Lincecum dominated on the mound, Randy Winn won it for San Francisco with an RBI infield single in the top of the 12th off Brad Lidge (2-1).

Both starters went seven innings, with Lincecum allowing just two hits and one run with 10 strikeouts. Oswalt gave up four hits and no runs with six Ks, but the Astros coughed up a 1-0 lead in the eighth on right fielder Luke Scott's error.

Brewers 3, Phillies 2 -- Visiting Milwaukee broke its four-game losing streak as Gabe Gross hit a pair of solo homers and Ben Sheets (4-2) struck out eight over 7 2/3 innings.

Pirates 7, Marlins 2 -- Ronny Paulino had three RBIs for host Pittsburgh, which tied a club record with four sacrifice flies and took advantage of a team-record-tying five errors by Florida.

Nationals 4, Braves 3 -- Felipe Lopez snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a single, double, and go-ahead triple to rally host Washington past Atlanta for its sixth win in seven games.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 1 -- Livan Hernandez (4-2) picked up Arizona in Denver by allowing four hits over seven innings, singling twice, and scoring a run.