NEW YORK (AP) -- Pedro Martinez made quick work of the Atlanta
Martinez threw an economical six innings Sunday, allowing
Atlanta just two hits on 61 pitches and then turned a comfortable
six-run lead over to the New York bullpen in what became an 8-1
victory for the Mets over the Braves.
"I had an easy day and I deserved it, didn't I?" Martinez
said. "It was an easy day at the office."
With Martinez coasting, manager Willie Randolph shortened the
ace right-hander's outing, lifting him after six and using three
relievers to finish off the Braves.
"I just wanted to get the bullpen some work," he said. "Even
though he had a low pitch count, anytime I can take Pedro out
leading 6-0, I'll do it and that's what I did."
That was fine with Martinez (11-3).
"I agree with everything they do," he said. "I trust them
completely. They know what they're doing. I could use the rest for
the future so I can be healthy for August and September, when they
Martinez had the Braves baffled, throwing a variety of pitches
and changing speeds. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was suitably
"Pedro touched 85 (mph) three or four times," Cox said. "You
say, `Let's adjust,' but he makes his pitches so perfectly placed,
you still can't adjust."
Martinez controlled the pace, getting ahead of hitters and
retiring the Braves quickly in every inning he worked.
"When I'm pitching, the defense is always on its toes, in the
right place at the right time," he said. "It comes from tempo. I
work fast and I throw strikes. I don't waste any time."
Neither did the Mets, who earned a split of the four-game
They broke the game open with a four-run second inning against
Mike Hampton (4-2), and Martinez was on the way to his ninth win in
11 decisions. He struck out five and lifted his National
League-leading total to 143. The only hits he allowed were a
second-inning single by Adam LaRoche and a two-out double in the
fourth by Andruw Jones. By then, New York had a 5-0 advantage.
It was the ninth time this season that Martinez allowed one run
Hampton was activated from the disabled list before the game and
made his first start since May 31. He lasted just two innings
allowing five runs on seven hits. He has had two stints on the DL
this season because of a strained left forearm.
Cox saw some good in the left-hander's work.
"I'm really pleased with his velocity and what I saw," he said
of Hampton. "He made some great pitches and a few bad pitches. I
saw more than I expected to see. He threw easy and fluid."
The Mets, scoreless in 16 consecutive innings in losing their
previous two games to Atlanta, took a 1-0 lead in the first when
Jose Reyes opened with a single and raced to third on a hit by Mike
Cameron. Reyes then came home on an infield out.
In the second, David Wright opened with a single and Chris
Woodward followed with a double. Miguel Cairo hit a high chopper
back to the mound for an out that scored Wright. Reyes then doubled
with two outs to score Woodward, and Cameron followed with his 10th
home run of the season to make it 5-0.
In the fourth, Reyes walked, stole second, advanced to third on
an infield out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran.
Woodward walked with one out in the seventh and came around on
singles by Cairo and pinch-hitter Jose Offerman. Cameron's third
hit of the game made it 8-0.
Estrada marveled at how quickly Martinez worked and how
effective he was.
"It was like he was playing catch," he said.
RHP's Juan Padilla of the Mets and Jay Powell of the
Braves, both called up from the minors on Friday, made their season
debuts. ... Cameron's homer traveled an estimated 390 feet. ...
Reyes stole his 27th base in 34 attempts.