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Pedro teases Mets with no-hitter in win over D-Backs

PHOENIX (AP) -- Pedro Martinez didn't need the New York Mets'
bats to stay hot.

Martinez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Victor Diaz
homered and added a sacrifice fly to lead the Mets to a 3-1 victory
over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

"I knew we weren't going to keep up the same offensive
explosion we had the first three games," Martinez said. "I
expected it. I just had to pitch along with Javy [Arizona starter
Javier Vazquez.]"

The Mets, coming off 14-1 and 18-4 victories, completed their
first four-game sweep in more than two years and have won eight of
10 to move within 1½ games of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card
race.

Arizona has lost five straight to drop 6½ games behind
first-place San Diego in the NL West.

Martinez (13-5) snapped his two-game losing streak, limiting
Arizona to two hits over six innings. He had six strikeouts to pass
Mickey Lolich for 15th place on the career list with 2,835. The
right-hander also walked four and hit a batter.

"He was erratically effective," Mets manager Willie Randolph
said. "That was the most erratic we've seen him in a while. But he
made the pitches when he had to."

Martinez said his arm felt stronger than in his past few starts,
and the sudden liveliness left his arm out of synch with his legs.

"I'll find it eventually," Martinez said. "I do things
differently. I play with myself up there and eventually I'll find
it. The last two innings I had it."

The Mets scored twice in the second inning. Cliff Floyd led off
with a single, went to third on David Wright's single and scored on
a double play grounder. Diaz followed with his ninth homer into the
left-field stands. He also had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Arizona scored on Chad Tracy's homer off Roberto Hernandez to
lead off the eighth.

Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

Vazquez (10-13) allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings.
He struck out six and walked two in losing for the fourth time in
five starts. Vazquez is 3-9 since June 20.

"It's just disappointing to be losing all these games, man,"
Vazquez said. "It's really frustrating. We're not getting the job
done and we're not winning games."

Arizona had good chances to score against Martinez in the first
and sixth innings.

The Diamondbacks had runners on first and second with two outs
in the first, but Martinez struck out Troy Glaus to end the inning.

In the sixth, Luis Gonzalez's one-out single broke up Martinez's
no-hit bid and Tony Clark followed with a single. Martinez then
struck out Glaus on a sweeping curveball and retired Shawn Green on
a grounder.

"We had chances," Arizona's Craig Counsell said. "He
struggled with his command and that got the pitch count up pretty
fast but you've got to get that hit that brings in some runs. We
just couldn't get it."

Martinez had thrown 100 pitches when he left for a pinch hitter
in the seventh.

"You want to get into the bullpen," Arizona manager Bob Melvin
said. "We're watching the pitch count go up, hits are at a premium
and we're not even seeing too many balls up. We're trying to get
him out of the game, and we do, and we had an opportunity right
there."

The Diamondbacks threatened in the seventh after Martinez left
when Royce Clayton led off with a triple against Aaron Heilman, and
pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken was hit by a pitch.

Hernandez came in and got pinch-hitter Alex Cintron to hit a
grounder to third as Clayton broke for home. Wright threw the ball
to catcher Ramon Castro, who threw back to Wright at the bag to get
Clayton. Second baseman Miguel Cairo ended the inning when he
caught Counsell's line drive and underhanded the ball to shortstop
Jose Reyes to double up McCracken.

"First and third, nobody out, you've got to find a way to score
some runs right there," Melvin said.

Game notes
New York's last four-game sweep was Aug. 15-18, 2003,
against Colorado at Shea Stadium. ... Glaus' seventh-inning error
snapped Arizona's 68-inning errorless streak dating to Aug. 17 in
St. Louis. ... Before the game, the Diamondbacks optioned RHP Greg
Aquino to Triple-A Tucson and recalled RHP Jason Bulger. Bulger,
the Diamondbacks' first-round pick in the 2001 amateur draft, was
3-6 with four saves and a 3.54 ERA for the Sidewinders. Aquino, who
missed almost 2½ months with irritation in his right ulna, was 0-1
with a save and a 9.12 ERA in 28 appearances for Arizona.