7,526: Sheffield’s blast secures Maine’s fourth win

Nice to be home

Gary Sheffield lined a three-run, sixth-inning homer that just cleared the left-field wall Monday to lead the New York Mets to a 5-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

The umpires decided to review the play after a fan reached down for the ball, but the lone camera angle offered little evidence that it wouldn’t have otherwise cleared the orange line. Ramon Martinez sacrificed home David Wright later in the inning to give the Mets a 5-1 lead.

John Maine provided a quality start giving up just a single earned run on four hits and three walks over six innings while fanning four batters. He lost his no-hitter in the second when Willie Harris tagged him for a double, making it 7,526 New York Mets games without a no-hitter. Harris’ hit led to the Nationals’ first run, as Wil Nieves drove him home with a single to right just out of the reach of a diving Luis Castillo.

The Mets jumped on the scoreboard in the third when Angel Pagan walked, Castillo singled him over to third and Carlos Beltran knocked him home with a line-drive single to left.

Mets reliever Bobby Parnell, who’s been a rock all season, got into some trouble in the seventh by giving up a single and three walks – the third of which came with the bases loaded – but Pedro Feliciano and J.J. Putz were able to put out the fire to keep the damage to a single run.

Putz got himself into a no-out jam in the eighth with a pair of walks but worked his way through it without yielding a run.

Mets’ closer Francisco Rodriguez also got into a jam in the ninth when he sandwiched an infield fly-out between two walks, but he got Austin Kearns to chase a curve ball for a strikeout and then got Harris to pop out behind second for the save.

Red Hat Society: I’m all for celebrating patriotic holidays, but those red caps just looked weird with the Mets’ uniforms. But it’s all about merchandising, and I guess sales have slowed on the blue patriotic caps.

Weekend Update: A special thanks to Dave at http://www.davemackey.com for providing game updates in post comments while I was away from both the TV and the computer this past weekend while camping.

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