Adrian Beltre went 5 for 5 with his major league-leading 42nd home run, and the Los Angeles Dodgers got a pair of big pinch hits yesterday in a 4-2 victory over the Mets in New York.

Eric Gagne worked a perfect ninth for his 36th save in 38 chances and first since Aug. 15 at Wrigley Field. His 143rd save since 2002 broke Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley's major league record for most in a three-year span. Eckersley had 142 from 1990 to '92 with Oakland.

Jeff Keppinger led off the first with his first major league homer for the Mets, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Richard Hidalgo hit a go-ahead single and starting pitcher Jae Seo left with a 2-1 lead in the seventh, but Beltre and the Dodgers rallied against New York's shaky bullpen.

Beltre singled off Ricky Bottalico with one out in the eighth. Mike Stanton (2-6) gave up a double to Shawn Green, and pinch hitter Olmedo Saenz came through with an RBI infield single up the middle to tie it.

Pinch hitter Jose Hernandez followed with a single to center, giving the NL West-leading Dodgers a 3-2 lead and bringing boos from an Irish Day crowd of 40,660 on a hot and muggy afternoon at Shea Stadium.

* CARDINALS 6, PIRATES 4: Reggie Sanders hit a three-run homer, and visiting St. Louis matched last year's total with its 85th win. Jim Edmonds hit fifth homer in as many games for St. Louis (85-44).

* ASTROS 7, CUBS 6: Roger Clemens pitched six innings for his 324th victory and Houston made the most of three Chicago errors.

* BRAVES 9, GIANTS 3: Paul Byrd allowed one run in six innings and hit a pair of run-scoring singles off Jason Schmidt, leading host Atlanta past San Francisco. Rafael Furcal had four hits and four RBI for the Braves, who have won six straight.

* MARLINS 4, ROCKIES 3: In Miami, Juan Encarnacion hit a two-run single in the first and a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth, sending Colorado to its sixth straight loss.

* PADRES 5, EXPOS 2: Jake Peavy won his sixth straight decision, and Phil Nevin homered and drove in three runs in visiting San Diego's victory.

* PHILLIES 4, BREWERS 3: Placido Polanco homered off Mike Adams with one out in the ninth to send visiting Milwaukee to its 10th straight loss.

* DIAMONDBACKS 6, REDS 3: Casey Fossum combined with four relievers on a four-hitter, and Juan Brito singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh to lead visiting Arizona.

Mets' David Wright drops a fly hit by Hee Seop Choi in second inning of L.A.'s 4-2 win.