Mets Notes & Quotes: Cards fold Heilman

New York Mets Notes and Quotes for Monday, May 16: Aaron Heilman takes his first loss of the year at Shea Stadium; Mike Cameron raises his average to .452 with a double and homer; Kaz Ishii appears in line to make his return Tuesday...

Last Game: Cardinals 4, Mets 2. The Mets dropped back to the .500 mark with Sunday's loss to St. Louis, losing their series with the Cardinals with six games remaining on a homestand that also brings the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees to Shea Stadium.

Aaron Heilman started on Sunday for New York and didn't pitch badly, as is his custom at Shea this season, but he did something different this time around – Heilman was tagged with his first home loss of the season.

He scattered seven hits and a walk over 5-2/3 innings, striking out seven, but allowed four runs – three of them on home runs by John Mabry (one on, second inning) and Reggie Sanders (none on, sixth inning).

Mike Cameron continued his torrid hitting, bashing a double and a solo home run off St. Louis starter Matt Morris in three trips. Cameron is batting .452 (14-for-31) in nine games since joining the Mets from the disabled list.

Notes, Quotes

  • The Mets tentatively plan to activate LHP Kaz Ishii and send him to the hill on Tuesday against the Reds, according to reports. That will mean that struggling Victor Zambrano will be skipped in Willie Randolph's pitching rotation and Heilman, conceivably, will be demoted to the bullpen.

    A relief role would not be completely foreign for the 26-year-old righty. Heilman has relieved five times in his professional career, but he compiled nine saves as a closer during his freshman year at Notre Dame.

    "I want to be a starter," Heilman told reporters. "I feel that's where I'm most comfortable, and would like to stay in that role. But as I've said before, I want to help the team win, and whatever capacity that is, I'll do."

  • Cardinals starter Matt Morris, a native of Middletown, N.Y. who grew up as a Mets fan, rented a Shea Stadium suite for 40 family members on Sunday, according to the Westchester (N.Y.) Journal-News.

    "It was a fun day now that it's over," Morris told the newspaper. "I build it up to be more than it should be with my family and everything. You don't want to go to dinner with your family after going four innings."

  • The New York Daily News' Darren Everson gives the rumor rundown on Mike Cameron, and the list of potential suitors is lengthy: the Yankees, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles are all thought to be salivating over the prospect of Cameron roaming center field for them.

    It's unlikely the Mets would deal Cameron to the Yankees, of course – especially not as Cameron continues to rake above the .400 mark – and a report in the Washington Post last week characterized the Mets as uninterested in anything the Orioles could offer (setup man Jorge Julio was mentioned as bait).

    On Deck

  • The Reds come to town for a three-game series that opens Monday night, serving as a nice warmup for this weekend's Mets-Yankees festivities. RHP Kris Benson (0-1, 6.75) goes Monday against former Mets RHP Paul Wilson (1-4, 7.46).

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