(Sports Network) - Cuban lefty Raul Valdes heads to the mound in the midst of a news-making series today, when the New York Mets host the Washington Nationals in the second portion of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Hisanori Takahashi (10-6) threw two scoreless innings of relief to get the win behind Pat Misch, who tossed eight innings of three-hit ball, giving up one run on Mike Morse's homer in the seventh inning. The left-hander also finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts.
Ike Davis also homered for New York, which snapped a three-game slide.
Jordan Zimmermann gave up just three hits and a run over six frames for Washington, which has dropped three of four.
Tyler Clippard (11-7) entered in the ninth with a 16 2/3 consecutive inning scoreless streak and got one quick out before Thole turned on a 3-1 fastball and blasted it to right.
The dramatic win came on the same day it was reported that Mets general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will not return to their roles with the team next season.
Valdes, a 32-year-old Havana native, makes the initial start of a big-league career that began with a scoreless two-inning stint against the Nationals on April 11.
He's made 37 relief appearances overall, allowing 56 hits and 31 earned runs in 53 1/3 innings while racking up a 3-3 record with a save and a hold.
He pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless one-hit ball on Sept. 29, appearing in both ends of a doubleheader against Milwaukee.
Valdes is 2-1 in five appearances against Washington with a 5.19 earned run average in 8 2/3 innings.
For the Nationals, Cuban righty Yunesky Maya makes the fifth start of his rookie season in the big leagues.
The 29-year-old debuted on Sept. 7 with a 4-1 loss to the Mets in a game in which he allowed five hits and four runs in five innings.
He's followed up with two losses and a no-decision in three subsequent starts, giving up 19 hits and 12 runs in 16 innings.
The Nationals are 0-4 in games he's pitched.