Maine, Mets' bats too much for A's

• Hero: Maine. The right-hander had his second straight strong start, getting his eighth win of the season with seven solid innings.

• Unsung hero: Jose Reyes. The Mets' leadoff man, who had three hits and an RBI, got New York started in the first, blooping a double and scoring on the play when Jack Cust, normally a designated hitter, threw wildly to the infield.

• Figure this: The A's went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 1-for-15 in the series. They came into Sunday last in the majors in that situation, hitting .224.

• Quotable: "He just caused havoc. I mean, he hit a blooper and it turned into a run. He's unbelievable." -- Paul Lo Duca on Reyes.

-- ESPN.com news services

Mets 10, Athletics 2

NEW YORK (AP) -- A blooper to right, an inexperienced outfielder and Jose Reyes' speed became a messy combination for the Oakland Athletics.

Reyes led off the bottom of the first inning with a popup down the line that Jack Cust, normally a designated hitter, couldn't run down. Reyes stretched it into a double and Cust's throw to second sailed into left field. Reyes, who went into second headfirst, scrambled to his feet and scored on the two-base error.

It was downhill from there for Oakland. The New York Mets sailed to a 10-2 victory behind John Maine on Sunday to complete their first series sweep at home since last August.

"It was kind of a crazy play," Reyes said. "You're not prepared to run like that. I was out of gas."

Reyes didn't slide at the plate even though the throw was coming in from left field. He said he saw the slide sign from on-deck batter Paul Lo Duca, but was too tired to do it. The throw, luckily for Reyes, was off line.

"He said, 'Down! Down!' but I was going standing up," Reyes said. "When I got to the dugout the guys were laughing at me because I was so tired."

They might have been laughing, but no one in the Mets' clubhouse would deny how much their catalyst means to the team.

"He just caused havoc," Lo Duca said. "I mean, he hit a blooper and it turned into a run. He's unbelievable."

New York has won three straight for the first time since winning four in a row May 25-29 against Florida and San Francisco. It was their first series sweep since late May at Florida, and the first at Shea Stadium since Aug. 22-24 against St. Louis.

The Mets scored in double digits for the first time since May 19 when they beat the Yankees 10-7.

The Athletics have lost six of eight and were swept in a series of three or more games for the first time since last June 30 to July 2 against Arizona. Oakland was outscored 20-3 in the series.

"It was kind of really the first series where we just got beat," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "There were other series where we lost a game or something, but we were in the game. In this series, we weren't."

In their first trip to Shea Stadium since beating the Mets in the 1973 World Series, the Athletics struggled to hit in the clutch. The A's went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 1-for-15 in the series. They came into Sunday last in the majors in that situation, hitting .224.

Maine pitched seven solid innings and Jose Valentin had three hits, including a three-run homer. Damion Easley hit a two-run double, Reyes added three hits and an RBI, and rookie Carlos Gomez got three hits to match his career high.

The Mets improved to 7-14 in June. In their seven wins, they have allowed five total runs. They are 0-14 this month when allowing three runs or more.

Maine (8-4) allowed two runs and five hits, striking out six without a walk. It was the 10th time in 15 starts he pitched six innings or more and allowed two runs or fewer.

"I don't think I had my best stuff out there, but you've got to go out there and pitch with what you have," Maine said.

Oakland starter Joe Kennedy (2-5) yielded five runs and eight hits in four innings, his shortest outing of the season. The A's fell to 3-11 in Kennedy's starts this season.

The Mets added a run in the second on a single by Valentin, a double by Gomez and a sacrifice fly by Maine. It was Maine's first career RBI.

Easley doubled to center to drive in Lo Duca and David Wright in the third, making it 4-0. Reyes added an RBI single in the fourth.

When Cust lined an opposite-field home run to left in the fifth, it ended Oakland's 20-inning scoreless streak. He was making his third career start in right field, all this season.

Eric Chavez got Oakland's first hit with a runner in scoring position in the series, driving in Mark Kotsay in the sixth with a two-out single.

Valentin's home run came in the seventh off reliever Jay Marshall. Carlos Beltran added a two-run single in the eighth.

"We have to finish up strong, going into the All-Star break," Wright said. "This was a good start."

Game notes
Mets 1B Carlos Delgado asked for the day off and manager Willie Randolph gave it to him. "His numbers against Kennedy were atrocious anyway," Randolph said. Shawn Green started at first base because Julio Franco's knee was bothering him. "His knee was barking a bit, he couldn't really move laterally," Randolph said. Franco pinch hit in the eighth and drew a walk. ... Green last started at first on Aug. 16, with Arizona at Colorado. ... Easley made his sixth career start in right field, and his first since last April 14, when he was with Arizona. ... Oakland reliever Justin Duchscherer, on the disabled list since May 22 because of a right hip strain, felt good after throwing Saturday. He has yet to throw off a mound, but manager Bob Geren said he hopes Duchscherer will do so within the next 10 days.