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Martinez allows two unearned runs in five innings in third rehab start

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez allowed two unearned
runs over five innings Monday in his most impressive outing since
he began throwing after offseason shoulder surgery.

With Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson and bullpen coach Guy
Conti in attendance, the right-hander struck out four and walked
one in a rehab start with Class-A St. Lucie.

"I got ground balls when I wanted and those are the things that
I want to see," Martinez said. "Regardless of what happens, if
they go through or whatever, I just want to get those ground
balls."

Back-to-back errors and a wild pitch in the fifth inning led to
both of Brevard County's runs off Martinez, who threw 72 pitches.
He lowered the number of pitches he expected to throw after waking
up Monday with a sore neck, though he said it did not bother him
during the start.

"I was very pleased with the way my sinker was working and also
the curveball. It was very steady," Martinez said. "I can't
recall one of those breaking balls being bad and getting those
cheap outs with the sinker and getting those ground balls when I
wanted."

It's unclear where the three-time Cy Young Award will pitch
next.

Martinez gave up five runs and six hits in three innings in his
first rehab start on Aug. 8. He was charged with three runs in four
innings with the Mets' Rookie-level Gulf Coast League team last
Tuesday.

Peterson said before the game that the two were there for moral
support more than to critique the performance. Martinez largely
will decide whether he needs to face hitters of a higher caliber
before playing in New York.

"That would be a determination that probably Pedro would make
over anyone else," Peterson said.

"It's all predicated on what he feels about how he's doing."

Martinez said he just has to be calm and let things happen.

Mets outfielder Endy Chavez also went 3-for-4 and scored a run
in St. Lucie's 4-3 win. Chavez is working his way back from a
strained left hamstring.