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Yunesky Maya earned his first career win but strained an oblique muscle.
Maya, who tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mets in an emergency start after Jason Marquis was traded to the Diamondbacks, injured himself trying to avoid a tag running toward second base in the bottom of the fifth inning. He convinced manager Davey Johnson to let him take the mound for the top of the sixth but was pulled after allowing a pair of one-out singles.
"We checked him again and he said: 'No, I'm OK,'" Johnson said. "And then [catcher Wilson] Ramos kept saying he was OK. But obviously he wasn't OK."
Johnson said Maya, whose future was already unclear in the wake of this spot start, will probably need to be place on the DL. The 30-year-old right-hander, however, insisted he can avoid a DL stint and will only need to miss a couple of days.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, Maya's pitching performance under these unusual circumstances was commendable.
Knowing Marquis might be traded before his scheduled start, the Nationals had Maya fly in from Class AAA Syracuse and be on-call just in case. He spent the afternoon sitting in the family waiting room at Nationals Park, not permitted to enter the clubhouse until the Marquis trade was made official.
That didn't happen until 6 p.m., at which point Maya finally strolled into the clubhouse in street clothes and was handed his uniform by clubhouse manager Mike Wallace. One hour later, he was on the mound in 95-degree heat, retiring the first seven batters he faced and carrying a shutout into the sixth inning.
"It was a little hard, but in a way I was ready for it," Maya said through translator Javier Castro. "That's why they told me I was coming up here; I might be able to start, but nothing was for sure yet. I was ready. It was my day to throw anyway in Syracuse, but I was ready to go."
Owner of an 0-4 record and 6.31 ERA in nine previous big-league starts over the last two seasons, Maya was proud to have the ball from his first victory on display in his locker afterward.
"I feel good," Maya said. "That's what I work for, to go out there and give it all my best. Thank god I got my first win. I'm happy."