Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Jose Reyes had a three-run triple to cap a four-run sixth inning while Johan Santana pitched eight strong innings to give the Mets a much-needed win, 6-2 win over the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium.
Reyes finished the game with two hits, and David Wright went 2-for-4 with a couple of runs driven in for New York, which pulled within 1 1/2 games of the NL East-leading Phillies. Philadelphia lost Tuesday night at home, 3-2, against the Braves.
The Mets snapped a three-game skid and also stayed 1 game ahead of the Brewers in the NL wild card standings. Milwaukee defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates later Tuesday.
Santana (15-7) got the win on a career-high 125 pitches, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, with 10 strikeouts. He's 8-0 over his last 16 starts. Luis Ayala got the last two outs for his ninth save of the season.
"I didn't even know I had that many pitches to be honest with you. I'm trying to stay in as long as I can," Santana said. "I know that every game from now on is very important, whoever is on the mound. We cannot afford to lose any games, and it seems like every time I am out there it's important, and I'm just trying to do my job and help as much as I can."
Chicago's Sean Marshall allowed two runs on four hits and a pair of walks in five innings, while striking out seven. Chad Gaudin (4-2) took the loss after letting up four runs in just one-third of an inning.
"(Santana's) a good pitcher, obviously, but our guy matched him pitch-for- pitch," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He was better until the fifth inning, but we need to get him back in the bullpen where he can help us in middle (relief)."
Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome each had two hits with an RBI for the Cubs, who have already locked up home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.
The Mets took the lead for good in the sixth off Gaudin. Carlos Delgado hit a fly ball that landed just inside the left field line for a lead-off double, and Raul Castro followed with a dribbler to Gaudin, which he threw wide of first, allowing Delgado to score.
Ryan Church followed with a single through the infield to advance Castro to second. Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy loaded the bases with nobody out after another ground single. One out later Kevin Hart was brought in to face Reyes, who cleared the bases with a triple to right, giving the Mets a 6-2 cushion.
The Cubs struck first in the second. With one out, Casey McGehee and Fukudome hit back-to-back doubles off Santana.
Chicago pulled ahead 2-0 in the third. Ronny Cedeno hit a one-out double, and two batters later he scored on Johnson's single to center.
New York came back in the fifth to tie the score. Nick Evans reached with one out when he was hit by a pitch. Santana hit a grounder that bounced off his broken bat, allowing him to reach with an infield single. One out later, Luis Castillo walked to load the bases for Wright, who singled home two runs with a liner to left field.
"It should count for two hits," Santana said of his strange hit. "I don't know, it was lucky."