New York (43-44) at Pittsburgh (39-47)

Light Rain Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Jul 10, 2005
  • TV: WPIX, FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets were hoping to go into the All-Star break with some momentum.

Instead, they’ll ask Pedro Martinez to help them avoid a three-game sweep to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Mets had won four of their previous five series before blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning of Friday’s series-opening 5-4 loss. The Pirates pounded the Mets 11-4 on Saturday, dropping New York one game below .500.

The Mets entered the series off three wins in four games against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium.

“I don’t think there’s any big carry-over. Sometimes I think you have to understand the other team wants to win ballgames, too, and when they execute and get timely hits, they win games,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

“We wanted to win these games and understood they were important games, but wishing and wanting doesn’t count in baseball, you’ve got to go out and get it done.”

Martinez suffered a 3-2 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday, allowing three runs and eight over six innings. The right-hander was selected to the NL All-Star team, but will not travel to Detroit, opting instead to take time off to be with his family in the Dominican Republic.

Jack Wilson hit his first career grand slam Saturday to lead the Pirates to their first series victory since taking two of three from Tampa Bay from June 10-12.

Wilson’s fifth homer raised his average to only .229—more than 100 points below his .332 average at the break a year ago, when he was the Pirates’ only All-Star.

“My game plan is to end the first half on a good note and have a strong second half and make up for it,” said Wilson, who drove in a career-high five runs.

The Pirates won their third in a row after going nearly a month without consecutive victories.

Humberto Cota, who delivered game-winning hits in each of the Pirates’ two previous victories, added three more hits Saturday, including a solo homer.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Martinez Phi vs. K. Wells SD
15-8 Record 8-18
2.82 ERA 5.09
208 K 132
47 BB 99
0.95 WHIP 1.57