Buoyed by a huge ninth-inning, the New York Mets head into this weekend's Subway Series ready for their crosstown rivals.
Carlos Delgado's two-run single capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth and set off a wild celebration at home plate, and the Mets edged the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Thursday.
``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 Newhan, pulled off their biggest ninth-inning comeback since 1999.
``Nice job by my A-minus boys'' Randolph said.
Delgado's one-out single gave the Mets a final thrill - and their seventh win in nine games - going into Friday night's opener against the New York Yankees at Shea Stadium.
Ambiorix Burgos (1-0) won in relief.
In other NL games, it was: Washington 4, Atlanta 3; Arizona 3, Colorado 1; Milwaukee 3, Philadelphia 2; Pittsburgh 7, Florida 2; and San Francisco 2, Houston 1 in 12 innings.
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, and headed to Wrigley Field to play the Chicago White Sox on Friday.
``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.''
Down 5-1, the Mets got going when Newhan led off 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.
``The guys were not trying to win the game with one swing,'' Wright said. ``Especially after you have a couple of good at-bats early in the inning, the energy level goes up. Nobody wanted to make those last two outs.''
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.
Giants 2, Astros 1, 12 innings
In Houston, Randy Winn beat out a grounder off Brad Lidge (2-1) to score Pedro Feliz in the 12th inning, helping San Francisco avoid a three-game sweep.
Winn also singled in the eighth and scored a run after two wild throws by the Astros on the same play.
Vinnie Chulk (1-2) pitched a scoreless 11th and Armando Benitez, who blew his first save Tuesday night, retired the Astros in order in the 12th for his eighth save.
Brewers 3, Phillies 2
In Philadelphia, Ben Sheets (4-2) struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings, and Gabe Gross hit a pair of solo homers for the first multihomer game of his major league career, helping Milwaukee end a four-game losing streak.
Freddy Garcia (1-3) gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Philadelphia lost for the second time in eight games.
Nationals 4, Braves 3
In Washington, Felipe Lopez returned from a rare day off by stopping an 0-for-13 skid with a single, double and go-ahead triple, and Washington rallied to Atlanta.
Last-place Washington has won six of its past seven games, including three of four against Atlanta. Rookie starter Matt Chico (3-4) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Relievers Billy Traber, Jesus Colome and Jon Rauch combined for three perfect innings, with Rauch earning his third save. Chad Paronto (2-1) was the loser.
Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 1
In Denver, Livan Hernandez allowed four hits over seven innings, singled twice and scored a run for Arizona.
The win gave the Diamondbacks two victories in the three-game series and their sixth series win of the year. Hernandez (4-2) gave up a run while walking four and striking out two.
Colorado wasted a good outing from Josh Fogg (1-5), who allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings.
Pirates 7, Marlins 2
In Pittsburgh, the Pirates tied a team record with four sacrifice flies and took advantage of a team-record tying five Florida errors.
Ronny Paulino had three RBIs and Shawn Chacon (1-0) pitched five shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Pirates, who earned a split of the four-game series.
The Pirates, who committed two errors, tied a club record set Sept. 9, 1988, against Philadelphia with four sacrifice flies. It was the third time the Marlins committed five errors in a game. Ricky Nolasco (1-2) took the loss for Florida.

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