Buoyed by a huge 9th-inning, the New York Mets head into this weekend's Subway Series ready for their crosstown rivals.

Carlos Delgado's 2-run single capped a 5-run rally in the bottom of the 9th and set off a wild celebration at home plate, and the Mets edged the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Thursday.

``This is going to give us great momentum going into the weekend,'' Delgado said.

Manager Willie Randolph started a makeshift lineup because the Mets' rain-delayed, 8-1 win Wednesday night ended at 12:53 a.m. David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes were among those scheduled to have a day off.

Instead, Wright and Beltran contributed as pinch-hitters and the Mets, boosted by key hits from Carlos Gomez, Ruben Gotay and David Newhan, pulled off their biggest 9th-inning comeback since 1999.

``Nice job by my A-minus boys'' Randolph said.

Delgado's 1-out single gave the Mets a final thrill _ and their seventh win in nine games _ going into Friday night's opener against the New York Yankees at Shea Stadium.

Ambiorix Burgos (1-0) won in relief.

In other NL games, it was: Washington 4, Atlanta 3; Arizona 3, Colorado 1; Milwaukee 3, Philadelphia 2; Pittsburgh 7, Florida 2; and San Francisco 2, Houston 1 in 12 innings.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella watched relievers Ryan Dempster (1-2) and Scott Eyre blow the big lead. They lost for the sixth time in eight games, and headed to Wrigley Field to play the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

``I just lost the game. There's not much to say,'' Dempster said. ``It's tough for the other guys to clean up my garbage.''

Down 5-1, the Mets got going when Newhan led off with a single and Gomez singled with 1-out. Piniella went to the mound to lecture Dempster, who loaded the bases with a walk to Beltran.

Endy Chavez drew a walk that forced home a run, and Gotay's RBI single brought Eyre from the bullpen. Wright batted for Shawn Green and hit a single that made it 5-4.

``The guys were not trying to win the game with one swing,'' Wright said. ``Especially after you have a couple of good at-bats early in the inning, the energy level goes up. Nobody wanted to make those last two outs.''

The previous time the Mets overcame a 4-run deficit in the 9th to win was May 23, 1999, when they scored five times off Curt Schilling to beat Philadelphia 5-4, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Giants 2, Astros 1, 12 innings

In Houston, Randy Winn beat out a grounder off Brad Lidge (2-1) to score Pedro Feliz in the 12th inning, helping San Francisco avoid a three-game sweep.

Winn also singled in the 8th and scored a run after two wild throws by the Astros on the same play.

Vinnie Chulk (1-2) pitched a scoreless 11th and Armando Benitez, who blew his first save Tuesday night, retired the Astros in order in the 12th for his eighth save.

Brewers 3, Phillies 2

In Philadelphia, Ben Sheets (4-2) struck out 8 in 7 2-3 innings, and Gabe Gross hit a pair of solo homers for the first multihomer game of his major league career, helping Milwaukee end a four-game losing streak.

Freddy Garcia (1-3) gave up 2-runs and 7-hits in 5 2-3 innings. Philadelphia lost for the second time in eight games.

Nationals 4, Braves 3

In Washington, Felipe Lopez returned from a rare day off by stopping an 0-13 skid with a single, double and go-ahead triple, and Washington rallied to Atlanta.

Last-place Washington has won six of its past seven games, including three of four against Atlanta. Rookie starter Matt Chico (3-4) allowed 3-runs and 5-hits in 6-innings. Relievers Billy Traber, Jesus Colome and Jon Rauch combined for three perfect innings, with Rauch earning his third save. Chad Paronto (2-1) was the loser.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 1

In Denver, Livan Hernandez allowed four hits over seven innings, singled twice and scored a run for Arizona.

The win gave the Diamondbacks two victories in the three-game series and their sixth series win of the year. Hernandez (4-2) gave up a run while walking 4-and striking out 2.

Colorado wasted a good outing from Josh Fogg (1-5), who allowed 2-runs and 7-hits over 7-innings.

Pirates 7, Marlins 2

In Pittsburgh, the Pirates tied a team record with four sacrifice flies and took advantage of a team-record tying five Florida errors.

Ronny Paulino had 3-RBIs and Shawn Chacon (1-0) pitched 5-shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Pirates, who earned a split of the four-game series.

The Pirates, who committed 2-errors, tied a club record set Sept. 9, 1988, against Philadelphia with 4-sacrifice flies. It was the third time the Marlins committed 5-errors in a game. Ricky Nolasco (1-2) took the loss for Florida.