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Nationals' throwing error in ninth hands Mets a win

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.<
^Notes@: 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.