SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Things sure are clicking for the New York Mets lately. Consistent starting pitching, clutch hits, big innings.
And to think it's been just more than a week since manager Willie Randolph was summoned to a sitdown with ownership amid speculation he might be fired. Suddenly, the Mets have won three straight series.Jose Reyes hit a leadoff double, then homered and singled to help John Maine and the Mets win the rubber game with the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Wednesday."For me, it's only been a matter of time," Randolph said. "I know we can play better than we have. We've shown more consistency and that's the team we're going to be over a long season. I hope we're on a nice little groove."When asked about the way his team has responded since that meeting with ownership, Randolph said, "It's probably just coincidental."Reyes scored twice and Carlos Beltran added a two-run double as New York won for the seventh time in nine games. A night after Pedro Martinez won in his return from the disabled list, Maine (6-4) got a 3-0 lead in the first inning and made it hold up. He ended a three-start winless stretch in which he'd gone 0-2."I thought it was a bit of a skid," he said. "I was letting way too many runs come across. This is a good start."Reyes, who had his 18-game hitting streak stopped Tuesday night, connected off Matt Cain (2-4) for a two-run homer in the fourth. Reyes' eighth home run of the year came after Maine walked."To walk the pitcher, especially with two outs, will always come back to haunt you," Cain said. "Then I throw a ball down the middle of the plate and Reyes crushes it. I've had my battles with him. He's a tough out. When you make a mistake to him he usually takes advantage."Maine pitched six innings for the third straight start, allowing one earned run and seven hits. Billy Wagner worked the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances, giving up a pinch-hit single to Rich Aurilia."I think good staffs feed off each other," Randolph said. "Pedro helps his teammates with his knowledge and as a mentor. ... It's a positive. It's always good to have Pedro here. We've got to keep him here."Randy Winn doubled and singled, Omar Vizquel and Jose Castillo hit RBI singles and pinch-hitter Bengie Molina had a sacrifice fly for the Giants.Travis Denker hit his first career triple in the sixth and doubled his next time up, a day after connecting for his first major league homer."I'm starting to feel it. For me it's not trying to do too much and just try to have a good at-bat," Denker said. "The timing is right there."Cain is winless in his last four starts since beating Houston on May 13 and saw his losing streak to the Mets reach three in a row. He beat New York twice during his standout rookie season in 2006, then dropped two last year.San Francisco second baseman Ray Durham, who strained his left calf muscle while running the bases Tuesday, grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth. Manager Bruce Bochy said Durham could play Friday's series opener at Washington after the team has a day off Thursday.Bochy was excited for his first visit to Nationals Park."I look forward to seeing it. I have great memories of RFK (Stadium), where I saw my first major league game" at age 10, he said. "The players just looked so majestic."
The Mets placed C Raul Casanova on the bereavement list following the death of his father, Raul Casanova Sr., and selected the contract of C Robinson Cancel from Triple-A New Orleans. ... Martinez reported no problems a day after making his second start of the year and first since leaving his April 1 outing with a hamstring injury. ... Mets OF Moises Alou, on the DL since May 22 with a strained right calf, had hoped to be activated as soon as Friday for a weekend series at San Diego but he might have to wait until Tuesday. ... Giants RHP Merkin Valdez was scheduled for a two-inning outing at extended spring in Arizona as part of his recovering from a strained elbow. If he comes out of it OK, he would likely pitch again Saturday. ... Giants RHP starter Kevin Correia, recovering from a strained left side muscle that landed him on the DL, tried to talk Bochy out of having him make another start for Triple-A Fresno. But the Giants want him to build his pitch count up a little more after Correia's strong outing Tuesday for the Grizzlies. "I'm over being on the DL," the pitcher said. "I'm ready."