Monday, July 14, 2008
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Beltran, Delgado power Mets to 9th straight win

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[July 14, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer, Mike Pelfrey provided the latest dominant pitching performance and the New York Mets held down the Colorado Rockies 7-0 Sunday night to take a nine-game winning streak into the All-Star break.

Carlos Delgado added a two-run homer for the Mets, who were 5 1/2 games back in the NL East on July 4. But after a tumultuous first half that included the dismissal of manager Willie Randolph, New York will resume play Thursday at Cincinnati trailing division-leading Philadelphia by just a half-game.

CivicThe Mets' nine-game run is their best since April 16-25, 2000.

Pelfrey (8-6) won his sixth straight start, mixing a four-seam fastball with a sharp sinker that kept Colorado off the scoreboard for the second straight game. The big right-hander allowed just six hits over eight innings with five strikeouts, and didn't walk a batter for the second straight game.

He began laboring in the eighth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but with the crowd chanting his name, Pelfrey got Scott Podsednik to pop out to third base.


Joe Smith worked the ninth to run the streak of scoreless innings by Mets relievers to 19 1-3. Still, the seven hits by Colorado snapped New York's stretch of allowing three or fewer in a record five straight games.

While everything appears to be going right for the Mets, the defending NL champs limp into the All-Star break losers of four straight. The Rockies have managed just two runs and 15 hits over that stretch.

Making his third start since replacing the injured Jeff Francis in the rotation, Rockies starter Mark Redman (2-5) ran into trouble from the start.


Nick Evans got aboard with a one-out base hit in the first, and David Wright followed with a walk. Beltran then drove a 1-2 pitch an estimated 415 feet to left field for a 3-0 lead.

Jose Reyes added a run-scoring single in the second and Evans a sacrifice fly in the fourth, driving Redman from the game after five runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.

The former All-Star hasn't won since April 16, a span of seven starts.

Delgado's two-run homer to right in the fifth only added to the misery of Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, whose team dropped to a league-worst 14-36 on the road and 39-57 overall. It's the third-worst record at the All-Star break for a team coming off a World Series appearance in a non-strike year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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The 1998 Marlins were 32-55 at the break and the '79 Dodgers were 36-57.

Colorado's best chance to score came in the fourth when Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe hit consecutive one-out singles. Garrett Atkins dribbled a grounder to third baseman Wright, who threw to Damion Easley at second to start a double play.


Easley had trouble fielding the low throw but still got it to Delgado at first in time for the out. Hurdle came out to question whether Easley was pulled off the bag, which would have allowed a run to score, but umpire Chuck Meriwether promptly sent the manager back to the dugout with little argument.

Notes: Pelfrey hasn't allowed a run in a career-best 16 innings. ... Rockies RHP Kip Wells, who had surgery to remove a blood clot in his hand, will make one more rehab start Wednesday at Double-A Tulsa, Hurdle said. ... Mets OF Ryan Church (concussions) played catch before the game and could be back soon after the All-Star break, manager Jerry Manuel said. ... There was a moment of silence before the game for Bobby Murcer, the former Yankees great who died Saturday at the age of 62.

[Associated Press; By DAVE SKRETTA]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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