Mets take opener over L.A.

NEW YORK – Minus two top starters, the New York Mets got dynamic postseason debuts from Carlos Delgado and David Wright to jump ahead of the Dodgers.

Back in the playoffs for the first time since losing the 2000 Subway Series, the Mets capitalized on a wild baserunning blunder by Los Angeles and a perfectly respectable performance from emergency starter John Maine in a 6-5 victory yesterday.

Billy Wagner closed it for his first postseason save, fanning Nomar Garciaparra with a runner on second for the final out.

Playing in the first playoff game of his 14-year career, Delgado had four hits, a mammoth homer and the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning. Wright drove in three runs, helping the Mets take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Game 2 is tonight, with rookie left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo on the mound for the Dodgers against 290-game winner Tom Glavine. Kuo pitched six shutout innings at Shea Stadium on Sept. 8 for his only major league win.

The Mets started a rookie of their own in the opener after Orlando Hernandez tore a muscle in his right calf while jogging in the outfield Tuesday. He is expected to miss the entire postseason.