Paced by Cliff Floyd's two homers, long ball contributions from David Wright and Victor Diaz, plus a leaping first-inning catch by Carlos Beltran that took a home run away from Michael Tucker, the Mets earned a split of Sunday's single-admission twinbill and took the series from the Giants.
With Kris Benson pitching three-hit ball through seven innings, the Mets enjoyed a nice ending to a day that started off poorly – the Mets were unable to put a consistent attack together against Giants starter Brett Tomko in the first game, a contest highlighted by Tomko's three-run double off Kazuhisa Ishii.
The Mets are three games above .500 at 30-27, one game behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. Third-place New York follows the Atlanta Braves by half a game, and no team in the NL East is more than 1.5 games out.
Notes & Quotes
QUAD QUANDRY: Carlos Beltran is in the Mets' lineup, which is a boon in and of itself. The downside of the equation is that Beltran estimates his strained right quadriceps is only allowing him to play at 80 to 85 percent of his usual effectiveness.
That showed through in Sunday's first game when Beltran turned the wrong way on a Marquis Grissom fly ball to center field, breaking back to the left and then falling down on the warning track as the ball dropped about 10 feet behind him to the right and went over the wall for a double, breaking a 1-1 tie.
"You can see he's moving a little gingerly out there," Mets manager Willie Randolph told reporters. "He's giving us the best that he has right now."
BACK IN: Miguel Cairo (strained left hamstring) pinch-hit in the seventh inning of the nightcap Sunday, grounding out. He could return to the lineup on Tuesday, pending Randolph's decision.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: After snapping a five-game losing streak Saturday, the Tides won their second in a row Sunday, blasting Rochester pitching for ten runs in the fifth inning en route to a 13-5 win. Jeff Keppinger had three hits and catcher John Pachot added four RBI for Norfolk (31-27), which leads Durham by four games in the International League South.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Runs were in ample supply Sunday at Trenton, where the B-Mets fell 14-10, despite a grand slam from hot-hitting Mike Jacobs. Matt Lindstrom (1-3) started for Binghamton and allowed eight runs (seven earned) in two innings, including home runs to Kevin Thompson and Melky Cabrera. Binghamton (26-26) fell into fourth place with the loss and trails Portland by four games in the Eastern League Northern Division.
HIGH-A ST. LUCIE: The St. Lucie Mets celebrated a rain-free afternoon by beating the Palm Beach Cardinals, 7-2. Evan MacLane (3-3) pitched well, allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings while striking out five and walking none, while Caleb Stewart and Jonathan Slack each contributed two RBI. Last-place St. Lucie (21-32) trails the Vero Beach by ten games in the Florida State League East.
LOW-A HAGERSTOWN: Ambiorix Concepcion and Derran Watts each turned in three-hit affairs as the Suns edged Lexington, 7-5, on Sunday. Concepcion raised his average to .225 with the contest, including a home run, and Mike Carp also went deep for Hagerstown (36-21), which holds a two-game lead on Lexington in the South Atlantic League's Northern division.
After an off day Monday – well deserved considering Sunday's lengthy twinbill in hot, humid conditions – the Mets get back in action on Tuesday night as the run-starved Houston Astros come to town. It might be tough sailing for the visitors in game one of three, however: Houston draws Pedro Martinez (6-1, 2.62), who hasn't lost in more than a month. The Mets get to deal with Roy Oswalt (6-6, 3.06) in a 7:10 start.
Join Steiner Sports and Inside Pitch Magazine on June 11 at Last Licks in Huntington, N.Y. to meet and greet Mets ace Pedro Martinez … Visit www.lastlicks.net or call 631-423-5425 for more info!