Mets' bullpen keys eighth straight win; Pedro leaves with injury

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pedro Martinez couldn't remember the last time he didn't get his way.

Turns out Jerry Manuel can be just as stubborn.

The Mets manager pulled Martinez after four innings on Saturday because of tightness in his right shoulder, but New York's resilient relievers held the Colorado Rockies without a hit the rest of the way in a 3-0 victory.

"He wanted to go back in the game," Manuel said. "He fought, fought, fought, fought to go back out there and pitch, but I said, 'No."

Why risk it?

The bullpen has gone 18 1/3 innings without allowing a run, and the one-hitter made the Mets the first team in modern baseball history to allow three hits or less in five consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jose Reyes homered and Fernando Tatis and Brian Schneider also drove in runs for the Mets (50-44), who have won eight straight for the first time since June 7-15, 2006. They're a season-best six games over .500 and moved within a half-game of Philadelphia in the NL East, after the Phillies lost 10-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It feels good," Reyes said. "We're playing together as a team, we've got a lot of communication. That's why we've been successful."

Carlos Muniz (1-1) pitched two innings for his first career win, Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis went an inning each, and Billy Wagner worked a perfect ninth to wrap up the Mets' 17th win in 19 games against the Rockies at Shea Stadium.

It was Wagner's 22nd save in 28 chances.

"When you use that many guys and they come in and get crisp, clean innings, it's quite a compliment to what we're doing here," Manuel said.

Martinez cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit before walking Matt Holliday on five pitches. He began stretching and flexing his shoulders, and Manuel and a trainer went out to the mound immediately.

Martinez stayed in the game and Brad Hawpe singled for the Rockies' only hit, but Chris Iannetta grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner said he's had a sore groin that caused his stride to be off, putting pressure on his surgically repaired right shoulder. He lobbied to stay in the game but, with the All-Star break coming up, Manuel wasn't having it.

"Don't mistake Jerry," Martinez said. "He can be tough, he can be tough -- even with an old goat like me."

The Rockies have dropped five of seven since a season-best five-game winning streak, mostly because they can't score runs. The defending NL champs managed only five base runners a day after blowing bases-loaded chances three straight innings in a 2-1 loss.

"We didn't really get anything going at any particular point in time," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "The walks were our best play."

The offensive ineptitude squandered a second consecutive serviceable start by Ubaldo Jimenez (4-9), who constantly challenged the Mets with a 98-mph fastball.

Fresh off his first road win in 12 starts, Jimenez needed just seven pitches to get through the first inning and didn't allow a hit until Carlos Beltran doubled in the fourth. Beltran stole third and scored on a base hit by Tatis.

Reyes homered to deep right-center leading off the fifth, his 10th of the year, and the Mets made it 3-0 in the sixth when Carlos Delgado reached on a base hit and Schneider slipped a double past first baseman Jeff Baker down the line.

After going a career-high eight innings to beat Martinez the last time he faced the Mets, Jimenez gave up seven hits over six innings. He struck out eight.

"I pitched good but it felt like I could do better," Jimenez said. "I had a couple situations that I got myself in trouble trying to throw too hard."

Game notes
Argenis Reyes stole his first career base in the fifth inning. The Mets were 4-for-4 stealing against Iannetta. ... The one-hitter was the 33rd in Mets history. ... Mets OF Angel Pagan (shoulder), rehabbing at Class A St. Lucie, could be back after the All-Star break, general manager Omar Minaya said. ... Mets 2B Damion Easley, who hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning Friday night, was out of the lineup to rest a sore quad. ... Rockies OF Willy Taveras was out of the starting lineup to rest his ailing quad. He pinch hit in the eighth inning and flied out to center.