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Updated: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 1:14 AM EDT
New York Mets
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
1 4 2
Chicago Cubs
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
4 10 1
W Clement (13-11)
L Griffiths (1-3)
S Borowski (29)
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CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Matt Clement pitched through pain to keep the Chicago Cubs in the playoff hunt.

Nursing a sore groin, Clement matched his career high with his 13th win and Randall Simon drove in two runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the New York Mets .

The hard-throwing righthander (13-11) allowed one unearned run and three hits in seven innings in the win, which tied the total he posted as a member of the San Diego Padres in 2000. He struck out five and walked two.

"I was hoping to stay in there as long as possible to take some pressure off the bullpen, like Carlos (Zambrano) did yesterday," Clement said.

"Clement had good stuff," Mets manager Art Howe said. "He kept the ball down, he sunk the ball good and he got his breaking ball over consistently. He went out and shut us down."

The 29-year-old Clement, who has won six of his last eight decisions, has had a tight right groin since September 3.

"It's too bad that I hurt it because I've had maybe my best stuff in the last two games and I could be better," he said.

"It affected him a lot," Cubs catcher Paul Bako said. "You all could see him limping out there, but he pitched a great ballgame, he had great stuff."

Mike Remlinger did not give up a run in the eighth and Joe Borowski retired the side in order in the ninth for his 29th save in 33 chances.

Simon capped a three-run first inning with a two-run double as the Cubs moved within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Houston Astros , who were idle, in the National League Central Division.

Rookie Jeremy Griffiths (2-2) gave up four runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked none.

"I felt good I didn't walk anybody and my stuff was there - both the sinker and slider but I got a few up a bit," Griffiths said.

The Mets have dropped 10 of their last 11 games.

Kenny Lofton and Mark Grudzielanek opened the first with consecutive singles. After Sammy Sosa struck out, Alou hit an RBI single and Simon followed with a two-run double for his first RBI at Wrigley Field since he was acquired from Pittsburgh on August 16.

"I was happy to get the big hit in that inning, and be able to help Matt get a lead," said Simon, who has 17 road RBI for Chicago. "With our pitchers, you just get them a lead and let them go."

Bako provided the Cubs with a four-run advantage with an RBI triple in the fourth.

The Mets broke through against Clement in the fifth. Jorge Velandia led off with a single, and Clement slipped while trying to field a bunt by Jeff Duncan , who reached on an infield single.

Roger Cedeno lined out one out later, but Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez 's throw to first for a double play hit Duncan in the backside. Velandia went to third on the error and came home on a wild pitch by Clement.

However, Clement recovered to strike out Danny Garcia to end the inning.

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