|Fernando Tatis punched up the Mets' offense against San Diego, hitting two homers and driving in four runs. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)|
After a nervous ninth inning, Mets manager Jerry Manuel sat down behind the microphone and took a long drink.
"I feel like I need to be turning that water into wine," he said with a chuckle, holding up his plastic bottle for effect.
Hours after the Mets put All-Star closer Billy Wagner on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left forearm, New York's makeshift bullpen managed to close out the San Diego Padres, 6-5, last night at Shea Stadium. But it wasn't easy.
Aaron Heilman gave up a three-run homer before Scott Schoeneweis earned the save, ensuring that Fernando Tatis's two homers and four RBIs weren't wasted.
By the time it was over, Manuel wasn't sure who his closer would be going forward. Schoeneweis became the first Mets reliever besides Wagner to earn a save this season when he retired Brian Giles on his only pitch.
Before the game, Manuel said struggling setup man Aaron Heilman would get the first shot at closing duties in Wagner's absence. It didn't last long. Handed a four-run cushion when he entered to start the ninth, Heilman walked his first batter on four pitches and gave up a three-run homer to Jody Gerut with one out.
Rays 8, Indians 4 - Evan Longoria, Dioner Navarro, and Cliff Floyd homered to help AL East-leading Tampa Bay beat visiting Cleveland.
Longoria's two-run drive in Tampa Bay's four-run seventh was his 22d of the season, setting a team record for a rookie.
Marlins 8, Phillies 2 - Josh Johnson pitched six scoreless innings, Jeremy Hermida drove in four runs, and visiting Florida beat Philadelphia in a matchup of the two top teams in the NL East.
The Marlins closed within 1 1/2 games of first-place Philadelphia. The Mets are two games behind. Johnson (2-0) allowed five hits and overcame four walks in his fifth start since returning from reconstructive elbow surgery in August 2007. The Marlins improved to 5-0 in his starts this year.
Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 1 - Brandon Webb became the first 16-game winner in the majors, tossing a nine-hitter for his third complete game in host Arizona's win over Pittsburgh.
Webb (16-4) carried a shutout into the ninth but surrendered a leadoff double to Freddie Sanchez and an RBI single to Doug Mientkiewicz.
Rangers 8, Yankees 6 - Josh Hamilton hit his 27th homer, rookie Matt Harrison pitched well into the seventh inning and host Texas hung on to beat New York.
Texas took an 8-2 lead into the eighth, but Richie Sexson's grand slam off C.J. Wilson made it a two-run game. Eddie Guardado got three outs for his third save in three chances to help the Rangers win their second straight over the Yankees.
Orioles 3, Angels 0 - Chris Waters held the team with baseball's best record to one hit over eight innings in his major league debut to lift visiting Baltimore.
The lefthander, who turns 28 Aug. 17, was promoted this week from Triple A Norfolk. He allowed only a second-inning single to Vladimir Guerrero and retired 14 of his last 15 batters.
Braves 11, Giants 4 - Mike Hampton earned his first victory in nearly three years and hit an RBI double, leading visiting Atlanta past San Francisco.
The 35-year-old Hampton hadn't won since Aug. 14, 2005, for the Braves against Arizona - 1,087 days earlier. And this was just his third start of 2008 after he returned July 26 following a nearly three-year absence in which the two-time All-Star underwent two major surgeries on his left elbow.
Cardinals 6, Dodgers 4 - Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning off Jason Johnson, a starter called into duty, to give host St. Louis the victory.
Ludwick's 28th homer, his fifth in four games, allowed the Cardinals to recover after the bullpen blew a four-run ninth-inning lead for its major league-leading 27th blown save.
White Sox 10, Tigers 8 - Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 14th as Chicago rallied for four runs off Joel Zumaya and beat Detroit.
Brewers 8, Reds 1 - Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer that helped visiting Milwaukee beat Cincinnati.
Cubs 11, Astros 7 - Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning and host Chicago rallied after blowing a 6-1 lead.
Blue Jays 4, Athletics 3 - Kevin Mench singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth and host Toronto rallied against closer Huston Street to extend Oakland's season-worst losing streak to eight games.
Mariners 8, Twins 7 - Raul Ibanez drove in five runs and Seattle rallied in the bottom of the eighth off closer Joe Nathan for the win, dropping Minnesota out of first in the AL Central.
Rockies 8, Nationals 2 - Brad Hawpe's bases-loaded, two-run single in the eighth sparked a six-run rally and host Colorado halted Washington's win streak at four.