Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

NY Mets leads 2-0 (as of 9/2)

Game 1: Friday, September 1
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Houston7
Game 2: Saturday, September 2
NY Mets4Final
Houston2
Game 3: Sunday, September 3
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Mets 4

(84-50, 41-27 away)

Astros 2

(66-70, 37-33 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 2, 2006

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000201001 4 7 0
    HOU 000010100 2 3 2

    W: J. Maine (5-3)

    L: J. Hirsh (2-3)

    S: B. Wagner (34)

    Beltran saves day, hurts knee, as Mets hold off Astros

    HOUSTON (AP) -- After injuring his left knee making an impressive leaping catch in the ninth inning that likely saved the New York Mets win, Carlos Beltran couldn't bend it.

    But he still had his sense of humor.

    Beltran crashed into the left field wall when making a catch on a long fly by Lance Berkman in the ninth inning that preserved New York's 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

    Elias Says
    John Maine
    Maine
    fans expecting that no pitcher under the age of 34 will start a postseason game for their team -- leaving the postseason the exclusive province of Pedro, Glavine, Trachsel and El Duque -- had best pay heed to what John Maine is doing.

    Maine, a 25-year-old right-hander, allowed only two hits in 6 1/3 innings in New York's 4-2 win at Houston. More to the point, that marked the Mets' eighth straight win in games started by Maine, tying a team record for rookies. The Mets won eight consecutive starts by Ron Darling in 1984 and they won eight straight Jason Isringhausen starts in 1995.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here

    Playing against the team that he snubbed in favor of signing with the Mets in 2004, Beltran was roundly booed each time he batted or came near the ball.

    When asked how Saturday's collision compared to the violent collision he had with teammate Mike Cameron last season, Beltran said that one was much worse because he didn't know where he was.

    "It's totally different. Today I knew where I was. After I heard the boos I knew I was in Houston," he said with a chuckle.

    Beltran said a former Mets doctor who was visiting team trainers examined his knee and said there were no torn ligaments, but he was going to a local hospital for X-rays since he could not bend his knee.

    "He made a great catch, unbelievable catch," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He went all out and sacrificed his body, that's why he's one of the great players in the game."

    Said Astros manager Phil Garner: "Carlos perhaps saved the game. Two runs probably score if he doesn't make that play, and it's certainly tied up. I didn't think it was catchable. He came out of nowhere."

    Both of Beltran's knees were marked from crashing into the chain-link fence and his left knee was scraped and swollen. He was limping around the clubhouse but said he was not in pain.

    After the catch, he made the throw and then went down to the ground. After being tended to by the trainers for a few minutes, Beltran walked off gingerly with help.

    "My left knee went into it (the fence) and hit the patella tendon so when I came down that's why I was limping," he said. "I couldn't put pressure on the knee. So I went down and I couldn't stretch it out by myself or bend it."

    Cliff Floyd had a double and two RBI in his return from the disabled list to back rookie John Maine's strong pitching before Beltran's catch.

    Floyd, activated from the 15-day DL before the game, had a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the ninth to help the Mets to their 13th win in the last 15 games. He had been out since Aug. 9 with an Achilles' tendon injury.

    Maine (5-3) pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up just two hits, but they were both home runs, and struck out three. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances.

    The Astros, who have the fewest errors in the National League with 63, were uncharacteristically sloppy against New York.

    "We gift wrapped it for them there's no question about it," Garner said. "We gave them the game."

    In the fourth, Paul Lo Duca scored when a hard-hit grounder by David Wright rolled right between Craig Biggio's legs and into center field.

    Floyd's sacrifice fly later in the inning made it 2-0. Wright, who has 106 RBI this season, got caught trying to steal second base to end the inning.

    Houston starter Jason Hirsh, also a rookie, dropped a short toss when covering first, allowing Beltran to reach in the sixth. Carlos Delgado followed with a single that sent Beltran to third.

    A wild pitch by Hirsh allowed Beltran to score and make it 3-1.

    Maine retired the first 12 batters, before Berkman's homer to left field to lead off the fifth inning. It was Berkman's 37th home run of the season and his 112th RBI, tying him with Beltran for second in the National League.

    Mike Lamb's home run to the upper deck in right center field in the seventh made it 3-2. Maine was replaced by Pedro Feliciano after Beltran caught a long fly by Berkman just in front of the center field wall.

    Saturday was Maine's second meeting with the Astros. He threw a shutout in New York's 7-0 win over Houston on July 21. He has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of 11 starts.

    The 24-year-old Hirsh (2-3) allowed five hits and three runs in six innings while striking out four in his fifth major league start.

    Game notes


    Lo Duca had a single in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Hirsh was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year after posting a 12-3 record with a 2.10 ERA for Triple-A Round Rock. ... Pedro Martinez, on the 15-day disabled list with a calf strain, threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday in Florida.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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