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Martinez frustrated as Bucs help keep Mets' celebration on hold

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Martinez was close to tears, and it wasn't only because the New York Mets failed to clinch the NL East on Friday night.

Martinez struggled in his first start in more than a month, allowing four runs in three innings in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

When he came out of the game, Martinez sat in the dugout, head in his hands, and manager Willie Randolph put an arm around him.

"My pitches weren't there. That was the biggest frustration," Martinez said. "I was about to snap and let it all out. Thank God Willie was there. I felt like crying at that time."

Martinez (9-6) had been on the disabled list because of a strained right calf since Aug. 14, and Randolph said he would be limited to 60-to-80 pitches.

He threw 68 pitches and gave up six hits, walked one, hit a batter and made a throwing error. He struck out four.

"I didn't see the results I was expecting," Martinez said. "When you come off so many days without throwing the ball, you want to make a statement. I wanted to do a little bit better. My physical body didn't feel quite as well as I was expecting for the time being. I can't expect to be 100 percent fine. I still have plenty of time to do it."

Randolph said Martinez was healthy and would take his next turn in the rotation.

"I thought he did pretty well, actually," Randolph said. "He's a competitor. He's a warrior, and it didn't work out like he wanted. He's a little frustrated."

Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said he was not alarmed, saying Martinez showed good command of all four of his pitches.

"I thought his stuff was good," Peterson said. "He just made some mistakes. You've got a young club that swings the bats decently and aggressively, and if you make some mistakes out over the plate they're pretty good at hitting those pitches."

After the game, the Mets missed a second chance to clinch its first division title in 18 years when Philadelphia held on for a 4-3 win at Houston. Many of the Mets watched on television as Houston's Humberto Quintero hit into a game-ending double play.

"Some of us I think want to try to win the game on the field," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "It would have been nice. We're not backing into anything. We've won a lot of games, and we've played well. But still, hopefully, we will take care of it tomorrow night."

Paul Maholm (8-10) allowed one run and two hits in seven innings as the Pirates beat the Mets for the second time in seven tries this season. Maholm, who walked three batters and hit three, is 4-0 in his last seven starts.

"Them being in first place and if they win they get to celebrate, that was another incentive to go out there and pitch good, because I don't think there's a player in here that wants to watch them celebrate on our field," Maholm said.

Salomon Torres pitched the ninth for his eighth save -- all coming in Pittsburgh's last eight wins.

Jason Bay hit his 33rd homer and drove in three runs. Jose Reyes had two hits and two RBI for the Mets.

"It shows the way we've been playing," said Bay, whose team is 31-27 since the All-Star break after a 30-60 start. "Regardless of who we're playing, we are playing good baseball. It's somewhat gratifying against teams like this to stack yourself up to see how you have been doing."

Pittsburgh jumped on Martinez in the first inning when Bay doubled home Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez went 2-for-4 and is hitting .340 but lost his lead in the NL batting race to Florida's Miguel Cabrera, who had three hits and is batting .342.

The Pirates added two more runs in the third when Ryan Doumit hit an RBI double and scored on Ronny Paulino's single. Paulino was 3-for-4.

The Mets, who dropped to 23-19 against left-handed starters, did not get a hit until the fourth and did not score until the fifth, when two batters were hit before Reyes' RBI single.

New York scored twice in the eighth off John Grabow. Mike DiFelice led off with a double and scored on Reyes' triple, and pinch-hitter Julio Franco had an RBI grounder.

The Mets' next chance to clinch was Saturday afternoon, when the Phillies play a day game at Houston. If Philadelphia wins, New York could clinch with a win over the Pirates on Saturday night.

"However it gets done, we want it done with, so Willie can start with his planning," outfielder Cliff Floyd said. "We're very fortunate to be in this position. There's lots of teams battling right now playing for their lives. You turn on the ESPN and you see how this team has to win or that team has to win. We're fortunate the position we are in."

Notes

  • Mets C Paul Lo Duca was ejected from the game when he argued with umpire Jeff Kellogg after being called out on strikes to end the fifth.
  • Sanchez has 48 doubles this season, setting a club record for right-handed hitters.
  • Martinez finished the game with 2,990 career strikeouts.
  • The Mets are 11-10 in games started by Martinez.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Paul Lo Duca shares his thoughts -- on global warming? -- before being ejected in the fifth inning.  (AP)
Paul Lo Duca shares his thoughts -- on global warming? -- before being ejected in the fifth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

J. Bay
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

J. Reyes
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4122001 .301
Paul Lo Duca, C3010012 .312
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
   a- Julio Franco, PH1001000 .265
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
Carlos Beltran, CF3000101 .280
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000032 .267
David Wright, 3B4000012 .309
Cliff Floyd, LF2010100 .244
Shawn Green, RF3000013 .278
Jose Valentin, 2B4100022 .274
Pedro Martinez, P0000100 .111
    Darren Oliver, P0000000 .143
   b- Lastings Milledge, PH0000000 .238
    Mike DiFelice, C1110000 .091
Totals293533813 
a-grounded out for Bell in the 8th
b-hit by pitch for Oliver in the 5th
Batting
2B - Mike DiFelice (1, Grabow)
3B - Jose Reyes (17, Grabow)
RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (77), Julio Franco (19)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (44)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Reyes-Valentin-Delgado
E - Pedro Martinez (5, )
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez (L,9-6) 3644140 4.03
Darren Oliver 1100000 2.78
Heath Bell 3211041 3.93
Pedro Feliciano 1000100 1.79
HBP - J. Bautista (by Pedro Martinez)
WP - Pedro Martinez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 68-46, Darren Oliver 19-14, Heath Bell 54-34, Pedro Feliciano 7-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 4-2, Darren Oliver 2-1, Heath Bell 4-1, Pedro Feliciano 1-1
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 18, Darren Oliver 4, Heath Bell 11, Pedro Feliciano 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF4010012 .240
Jack Wilson, SS4110003 .276
Freddy Sanchez, 3B3210101 .340
Jason Bay, LF4123012 .282
Xavier Nady, RF4000032 .282
Ryan Doumit, 1B4111011 .209
    Joe Randa, 1B0000000 .259
Ronny Paulino, C4031000 .322
Jose Bautista, 2B2000112 .241
Paul Maholm, P3000012 .109
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   a- Jose Castillo, PH1000001 .261
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .200
Totals335952816 
a-grounded into a double play for Grabow in the 8th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (48, P. Martinez), Jason Bay (27, P. Martinez), Ryan Doumit (8, P. Martinez)
HR - Jason Bay (33, Bell)
RBI - Jason Bay 3 (104), Ryan Doumit (13), Ronny Paulino (50)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Doumit (4), Ronny Paulino (25)
SB - Chris Duffy (19, 2nd base off Oliver/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - F. Sanchez-J. Bautista-Doumit, F. Sanchez-J. Bautista-Doumit, J. Bautista-J. Wilson-Doumit
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (W,8-10) 7211340 4.76
John Grabow 1222010 4.25
Salomon Torres (S,8) 1100030 3.40
HBP - Floyd (by Paul Maholm), Green (by Paul Maholm), Milledge (by Paul Maholm)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 106-62, John Grabow 12-10, Salomon Torres 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 10-4, John Grabow 2-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 26, John Grabow 5, Salomon Torres 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24410
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Andy Fletcher