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Beltran's sacrifice fly lifts Mets over Arizona

New York Mets' Carlos Beltran heads up the

New York Mets' Carlos Beltran heads up the first base line while watching his sacrifice fly that drove in the winning run in the ninth inning. (July 31, 2010) Credit: AP

The Mets say they didn't make a trade Saturday in part because they like the players they have.

Carlos Beltran is one of those players. They like him, even though he entered last night batting .216.

Beltran had his first big moment of 2010 when he hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to deep right-center in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.

"We're fighting," he said. "Even though what happened at the deadline, we're going to come here with the mentality of winning ballgames."

It was the first time the Mets have beaten Arizona in five tries this season. They moved to within 6½ games of the Braves.

The Braves and Phillies both made moves this past week to try to earn a playoff spot. The Mets stood pat, which probably didn't sit well with their fans - or their de facto captain.

"I don't try to play GM," David Wright said. "There's 30 teams out there that are looking to get better. There's obviously plenty of room for improvement with our team. If we would have gotten somebody, great, but we can't hang our heads and worry about that too much because it didn't happen. We have to find a way with the guys that we have in here. It is what it is. We didn't make any moves. We've got to move forward and go do our thing."

Jesus Feliciano - who was recalled Friday when Jason Bay went on the disabled list and entered the game in the seventh as a defensive replacement - led off the ninth inning of a 4-4 game with a triple to right-center off Juan Gutierrez.

With the infield back, Jose Reyes hit a fly ball to shallow right for the first out before the Diamondbacks intentionally walked Angel Pagan and Wright to load the bases for Beltran, who was 0-for-3 with an intentional walk in his 15th game.

"The guy that they're going to challenge is me because they feel I'm not ready," said Beltran, who said manager Jerry Manuel told him he will get Sunday off. "I have no problem with that. I have to deal with that and make the most out of it."

The Mets, trailing 4-2 after Bobby Parnell let a one-run lead slip away in the seventh, tied the score on Wright's two-out, two-run double into the rightfield corner in the bottom half. Wright (2-for-4, three RBIs) had two home runs and five RBIs in Friday's 9-6 loss to Arizona.

The Mets would have liked to have found a starting pitcher before yesterday's non-waivers trade deadline so they could move Hisanori Takahashi to the bullpen. Then they would have him to pitch the middle innings when they have a lead.

Unfortunately for the Mets, Takahashi is needed at the start of games. For the second straight night, the bullpen let a one-run lead get away quickly after the starter departed.

Parnell relieved Takahashi (112 pitches) to start the seventh with the Mets ahead 2-1 and didn't retire a batter. He was only slightly better than Raul Valdes, who replaced Mike Pelfrey Friday night and allowed a two-run homer and a three-run blast.

Parnell gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases before Justin Upton delivered a two-run single to right to give Arizona a 3-2 lead. Pedro Feliciano came in and another run scored on a forceout. But this time the Mets came back to tie it, then win it.

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