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Martinez increases NL-leading K total to 92

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pedro Martinez took an early shower. It had
nothing to do with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Martinez pitched eight sharp innings and got a customary home
run from Carlos Beltran as the New York Mets defeated Arizona 6-1
Thursday night.

In the first inning, Martinez was pitching to Luis Gonzalez when
the Shea Stadium infield sprinkler system went off, shooting water
everywhere. Some pitchers might have been annoyed. Martinez was
amused.

"I just got wet," he said, laughing it off. "Water is a
blessing."

On a chilly June night, Martinez reacted like a kid playing in a
pool in the middle of summer.

"I made it fun," he said. "It was fun."

So was beating out a slow roller down the third-base line, his
first hit after going 0-for-29 this season. The hit was his first
since Sept. 4, 1997, with Montreal. It came in the middle of a
three-run Mets rally in the sixth inning -- and with Martinez
throwing an airtight game, it just about finished off the
Diamondbacks.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin saluted Martinez, who limited the
Diamondbacks to five hits.

"He pitched good and then all of a sudden, crazy things started
to happen," Melvin said. "When the sprinklers went on, I knew we
were in for a crazy night.

"He's definitely a guy you've got to get out of synch early
because once he gets in a rhythm, he gets tougher. He can throw cut
sliders [and] breaking balls when he has to. He didn't have his 95
today, but there was never a point in the game when he needed it."

Martinez said he used the Diamondbacks' approach against them.

"They came out aggressive," he said. "I took advantage of
their aggressiveness and spotted the fastball early in the count. I
could reach for a power pitch when I needed it. I get a lot of
grounders, especially if a team is aggressive."

And a lot of strikeouts, too. Martinez struck out nine,
increasing his NL-leading total to 92. He also got his regular home
run from Beltran, who has hit seven this year, all with Martinez
pitching.

"It's been funny," Beltran said. "But I want to hit them with
someone else pitching. This means I hit them every five days. I
want to hit them more often."

Cliff Floyd, who batted .395 during a 20-game hitting streak
from April 8 to May 4 but hit just .202 last month, had a pair of
doubles against Shawn Estes (4-4), driving in one run and scoring
another.

After Arizona's Tony Clark tagged Martinez for his sixth home
run of the season in the second inning, the Mets took the lead in
the fourth.

Beltran tied the score with a shot over the center-field fence,
the deepest part of Shea Stadium. After Mike Piazza followed with a
walk, Floyd doubled into the right-field corner. Piazza scored with
a headfirst slide and Floyd reached third on a throwing error by
second baseman Craig Counsell. Then Estes threw a wild pitch,
allowing Floyd to score.

In the sixth, David Wright reached on Counsell's third error of
the game. He raced to third on a single by Chris Woodward and both
runners scored on a double by Kaz Matsui.

Martinez beat out a roller down the third-base line, then Jose
Reyes singled off Estes' glove, allowing Matsui to score. That gave
the Mets a 6-1 lead, a comfortable cushion for Martinez, who walked
none and won his fourth consecutive decision.

Aaron Heilman worked a scoreless ninth to finish it.

Clark had two of the Diamondbacks' hits, and Martinez retired 13
straight batters from the third to the seventh.

Game notes
Mets relievers Felix Heredia and Bartolome Fortunato had
surgery Thursday. Heredia had a blood clot removed from his left
shoulder and was resting comfortably. Fortunato had surgery for a
herniated disc in his lower back. Both are expected to miss the
rest of the season. ... New York RF Mike Cameron fell down chasing
Jose Cruz Jr.'s fly ball in the sixth inning but made the catch
while flat on the ground. ... Mets manager Willie Randolph was
amused by the sprinkler mishap and thought about how his old boss,
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, might have reacted. "George
would have fired the whole staff," Randolph said. "Heads would be
turning, for sure." ... Counsell committed three errors, two in
the fourth inning. ... Troy Glaus struck out three times.