Delgado’s ninth July homer helps Mets top Marlins

Carlos Delgado launched a fastball over the right-centerfield fence for his ninth homer of the month Tuesday night the help the New York Mets defeat the Florida Marlins 4-1.

Delgado’s RBIs provided the Mets with a little breathing room, as the game-winning run actually came two innings earlier when Carlos Beltran singled home Nick Evans in the sixth.

Starter Oliver Perez had a little trouble getting his breaking balls over but pitched a solid game, giving up one earned run, five hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out five.

Jose Reyes (3-for-5) led off the game with a double but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. His hit was followed by back-to-back doubles by Evans and David Wright to get the Mets on board with a run.

The sole Marlins run came in the bottom half of the first after Perez gave up a double to Jorge Cantu, which extended our count to 7,427 Mets games without a no hitter. It was followed by a Josh Willingham double to tie the game at one.

A pair of walks got reliever Aaron Heilman into a bit of trouble in the seventh as he was trying to paint the corners for an umpire who wasn’t budging on that part of the strike zone. But Heilman settled down to get through the seventh unscathed and struck out three in the eighth to set up closer Billy Wagner.

Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save.

The win extended the Mets’ lead over the Marlins to two games, but the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 Tuesday night to remain a half game back in the National League East division.

The rubber game of the series is Wednesday night, with Mike Pelfrey getting the ball for the Mets and Josh Johnson scheduled to go for the Fish.

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