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Martinez tosses five scoreless innings in return to Shea

Sep 9, 2007 - 9:38 PM By Ralph Ventre PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- As the Shea Stadium public address system inferred by blasting Kiss' 1978 hit song, Pedro Martinez is "Back in the New York Groove."

Making his first home start since September 21, Martinez pitched five scoreless innings, doubled and scored a run in the New York Mets' 4-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon.

"After analyzing what Glavine did yesterday, I knew what I had to do," said Martinez, who compared himself to his teammate and 300-game winner Tom Glavine. "I looked more like Glavine today because I'm no longer a power pitcher. I rely on location."

Glavine took a no-hitter into the sixth in New York's 3-1 win.

Sunday's win completed a three-game sweep for the Mets (81-61), who remained six games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies (75-67) in the National League East.

Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but Martinez got Hunter Pence on a groundout. With runners at first and second in the next frame, he retired Mike Lamb on a flyout. After a perfect fourth, Houston also loaded the bases with two outs, but the wily Dominican again got Lamb on a flyout.

"We had so many opportunities to get guys in, and we didn't get a big hit," said Houston starter Roy Oswalt. "If you don't score, you don't win."

Following the inning, the crowd serenaded Martinez with chants of "Pedro, Pedro," prompting the popular pitcher to step out of the dugout for a colorful curtain call. Martinez, who yielded six hits and a walk with four strikeouts, was grateful for the ovation.

"I'm gonna savor every little moment I have, every curtain call, every autograph I sign," said Martinez. "I'm gonna enjoy it because it's not gonna last that long. I always said I wouldn't be pitching when I'm 40."

The Mets staked Martinez to an early 1-0 lead against Oswalt (14-8), who entered 6-0 with a 1.79 ERA over his last eight starts and wins in his last three starts against the Mets.

"We were facing one of the best pitchers in the game today," said Moises Alou, who went deep for the 11th time this afternoon.

Carlos Beltran doubled home Luis Castillo in the first inning, and he drove in his second run of the day on a third-inning sacrifice fly. Martinez led off the inning by roping a double over the head of Houston left fielder Carlos Lee.

"Leading off the inning, I was trying to throw a fastball down the middle and roll him over," said Oswalt of Martinez's at-bat. "He hit it pretty well."

Alou doubled the Mets' lead with a two-run homer off Oswalt in the fifth, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.

Guillermo Mota relieved Martinez and promptly surrendered Luke Scott's 18th homer of the season, which cut the lead to 4-1.

Pedro Feliciano worked the seventh, Aaron Heilman the eighth and Billy Wagner the ninth for his 32nd save in 36 chances.

Oswalt surrendered four runs and nine hits over seven innings as Houston concluded its nine-game road trip at 2-7.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 10 1
    NY METS 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 x 4 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, TREVER MILLER (8TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS
    NYM - PEDRO MARTINEZ, GUILLERMO MOTA (6TH), PEDRO
    FELICIANO (7TH), AARON HEILMAN (8TH), BILLY WAGNER (9TH) AND

    Sep 9 3:53 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LUKE SCOTT (18) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF GUILLERMO MOTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, NY METS 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.233, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. MetsSep 9 2:51 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MOISES ALOU (11) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ROY OSWALT SCORED CARLOS BELTRAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, NY METS 4
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: S GREEN (.277, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. MetsSep 9 2:44 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CARLOS BELTRAN SCORED PEDRO MARTINEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L CASTILLO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    NY METS 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: M ALOU (.328, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. MetsSep 9 2:05 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS BELTRAN SCORED LUIS CASTILLO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BELTRAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0
    NY METS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: M ALOU (.329, 10 HR, 33 RBI)

    Astros vs. MetsSep 9 1:24 PM