Two innings later, it took a lot more cajoling to push Carlos
Beltran out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Beltran homered and drove in four runs, and Carlos Delgado also
connected to help Martinez win his first start of the season as the
New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 10-5 Thursday night in
a game interrupted by a near fight.
Guillen pointed his bat at Martinez and went halfway to the
mound after he was plunked in the fifth inning. The slugger was
corralled by plate umpire Ted Barrett and Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca
as the benches and bullpens emptied. Players ran onto the field
quickly, but no punches were thrown.
"I think enough is enough," said Guillen, nailed several times
by Martinez during his career. "We used to be friends, but that
relationship is over."
The right-hander said he didn't hit Guillen on purpose, he was
simply trying to pitch him inside.
"Those pitches just got away. That pitch wasn't really that far
in, except he leans over," Martinez said. "I think he overreacted
a little bit, especially going out there with the bat. I can
understand it if you're frustrated or mad or something. You want to
charge, you charge. But don't bring your bat out there. I wasn't
As for Beltran, he hit a two-run homer in the seventh for his
first hit of the year. Booed most of the series, he was coaxed out
of the dugout to acknowledge the fans by teammate Julio Franco and
the crowd of 25,839.
"Put it this way: I'm a friend not only when you're doing well,
I'm a friend when you're not doing so well," Beltran said.
He pointed out that he appreciated the way Mets fans supported
the team even though they fell short of making the playoffs last
But, he said, "I do believe they can be better."
Washington's Nick Johnson also was hit by pitches twice, surely
a painful experience on a 50-degree night.
The Nationals hit only one batter, but reliever Felix Rodriguez
was ejected when he plunked Lo Duca with first base open in the
eighth. Washington manager Frank Robinson then got tossed, too.
Missing his pinpoint control, Martinez (1-0) hit a career-high
three batters with pitches. The three-time Cy Young Award winner
allowed five runs, four earned, and four hits on 96 pitches in six
innings for his 198th career win.
He struck out six, walked five (one intentionally) and delivered
a surprising RBI single.
Slowed by a nagging toe injury, Martinez made his only two
starts of spring training during the final week of March.
Duaner Sanchez escaped a jam in the seventh to preserve a
Martinez's fifth-inning pitch grazed Guillen on the arm. That's
when he started toward the Mets' ace, who has never been shy about
buzzing batters. Martinez stood calmly on the mound as Delgado and
other teammates rushed in front of him to provide protection.
"I know how to take care of it, don't worry," Guillen said
with a smile, then referred to the rest of the season series. "I'm
going to make sure I play in all the games he's in. ... I want him
to throw inside. Now I want him more than ever."
Franco walked Guillen to first base, and Washington pitcher
Livan Hernandez also played peacemaker with Guillen and Martinez as
the crowd chanted "Pedro! Pedro!"
It was the third time in two nights Guillen was hit by a pitch.
Martinez plunked him in the side in the third inning, and the right
fielder walked slowly to first.
"I know he was upset. He's been hit three times in the last two
days -- I don't blame him. But that wasn't my intention. That stuff
happens in the game," Martinez said.
Guillen has often been irritated by getting hit. In 2004 with
Anaheim, he complained that Angels pitchers weren't doing enough to
protect him by brushing back opposing batters. He was hit by
pitches 15 times that season, then 19 times last year -- tied for
most in the NL.
Johnson, plunked earlier in the game by Martinez, followed with
a three-run homer that tied it at 5.
Both starters threw inside all night. Wright had to jackknife
out of the way of Ramon Ortiz's pitches a handful of times. Then he
flipped his bat with satisfaction after lining an opposite-field
single in the fourth.
Sanchez hit Johnson with a pitch in the seventh.
Delgado gave the Mets a 6-5 lead when he connected in the fifth
off Ortiz (0-1), the loser in his Washington debut. It was
Delgado's second home run in two nights.
One night after hitting his first major league homer off
All-Star closer Billy Wagner, Washington rookie 3B Ryan Zimmerman
went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts -- three against Martinez. ...
Barrett left before the seventh after getting hit in the throat by
a foul ball. Crew chief Rick Reed moved from second base to home
plate after a delay of about 15 minutes. A CT scan showed swelling
of Barrett's throat, but he is expected to be OK. He was released
from the hospital and was to travel with the crew to Philadelphia,
where he was to have more tests.