New York Mets defeat Florida Marlins, 7-1

There is no nameplate atop Omir Santos' corner locker, and no guarantees from the manager.

Before Brian Schneider comes back from the disabled list, Santos will endure some nervous nights worrying about his place on the roster.

But last night at least, Santos was granted his very own eighth spot in the lineup. And then in the very first inning, playing in a park where long drives have come to sputter and die, he drove a high, 1-1 fastball from Anibal Sanchez over that s...

Omir Santos went deep with a grand slam. John Maine went deep into the game. Deep enough to satisfy Jerry Manuel anyway. And the Mets, despite their April warts, moved within two games of first place with a 7-1 win over the Marlins Monday at Citi Field.

It wasn't all good news. The Mets (9-10) did lose Carlos Delgado (hip) and Luis Castillo (back spasms) to injuries. They also survived another outfield misadventure, this one by Gary Sheffield.

The free-falling Marlin...

It was a rare sight: a Mets starter not named Johan Santana coming through with a solid performance. But with most of the rotation on notice from Jerry Manuel to start turning in quality starts or else, John Maine answered the bell Monday night with his finest outing of the season.

Maine tossed six strong innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while fanning four and walking three as he set down the Marlins, 7-1, Monday night at Citi Field.

It was Maine's...