NEW YORK (AP) -- The chants are becoming routine at Shea Stadium
whenever David Wright makes a nice play in the field or gets a key
"MVP, MVP, MVP."
And Pedro Martinez agrees with the crowd.
Martinez (7-3) won for just the second time since April 28,
thanks to Wright's bat. The Mets' third baseman connected in the
fourth and fifth innings for his third two-homer game of the
season, raising his batting average to .338. He has 10 RBI in the
last five games and 60 for the season in 71 games.
Wright's first homer went to left-center, the second one to
right. It was an example of his power to all fields.
"I definitely try to work on going the other way," he said.
"That's part of my game that I think is one of my strengths. It's
good to see the ball going that way."
Milton thought he had Beltran struck out before Wright's
fourth-inning homer tied the score at 2.
"It was a fastball," Milton said. "It was right there. That's
a strikeout. That changed the whole game for me. There's one out
there. Even if Wright comes up with a homer, it's not a tie game.
We're still up by a run."
By the time Wright came up again, Milton was on the ropes,
"He was a little erratic," Wright said. "With the count 2-0,
he wants to throw a strike. He threw a fastball and I got it. I
kept my hands back, put a good swing on it and hit it on the good
part of the bat."
The win gave New York a split of the four-game series and
widened its lead in the NL East to 10 games over Philadelphia.
Martinez overcame some unusual wildness to throw six innings for
the victory. He allowed just two hits but walked five batters -- he
is averaging only two free passes per game this season. The
three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out eight, including his
final four batters.
"I made pitches when I had to," Martinez said. "I felt some
pitches had the corners. I can't blame (plate umpire Ron Kulpa). I
stayed focused and made adjustments. I had my struggles. The only
one to blame was me. I've got to go to the video room and see what
I was doing wrong."
Martinez won his first five starts but had won just one of his
last nine with five no-decisions. He beat Arizona 15-2 on June 11
in the midst of the Mets' 9-1 road trip.
In the fourth, the Reds loaded the bases with none out on walks
to Scott Hatteberg, Kearns and Dunn. Phillips hit a sacrifice fly,
but Martinez escaped further damage.
The Mets took the lead in the fourth, when Milton walked Beltran
leading off and Wright followed with his first home run. Julio
Franco then doubled and scored on a single by Xavier Nady.
The Reds tried to come back in the fifth when Felipe Lopez and
Hatteberg walked with two outs. But Martinez struck out Kearns,
stranding the runners.
Jose Reyes opened the Mets' fifth with his second hit and went
all the way from first to third when Chris Woodward bounced slowly
to third base. Beltran followed with an RBI single and Wright hit
his 17th homer for a 6-2 lead.
Reyes extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Reyes
stole two bases in the first inning and Lopez stole two in the
fifth. ... RF Kearns made a diving catch in the second to rob Nady
of a hit. ... Wright's two homers gave him 202 RBI for his career.
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