Mets blanked by Blanton

New York Mets Notes and Quotes for Tuesday, June 15: The Mets manage just three hits against Joe Blanton; Mike Cameron shoots to be in the lineup for the weekend series at Seattle; Danny Graves makes a successful Mets debut...

The Mets managed just three singles against Oakland Athletics rookie Joe Blanton on Tuesday, falling 5-0 at McAfee Coliseum in the first game of a 12-game road trip.

Blanton, 24, took a perfect game into the fifth inning and kept the Mets in check over seven, recording his second victory of the season. The righthander, who improved to 2-6, struck out four and walked none.

Tom Glavine started for New York and didn't pitch poorly, but he allowed four runs (three earned) and ten hits in six innings. Marlon Anderson – used as a designated hitter in the American League park – had two of the Mets' four hits.

Newly-acquired Danny Graves pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his Mets debut, inducing three ground ball outs. The Mets fell to .500 with the defeat at 32-32, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals.

Notes & Quotes

What a pain: Mike Cameron was held out of the Mets' lineup on Tuesday, his body ringing up a number of injuries that bear some link to one another.

The original injury, of course, was the strained right quadriceps muscle that started to affect Cameron during the team's recent homestand. The fluid from the quadriceps has now found its way into Cameron's right knee, which is now puffy and swollen, further limiting the outfielder's range of leg motion.

Then, to make matters worse, Cameron adjusted his slide in Sunday's home finale against the Angels and wound up dislocating his left ring finger. He hopes to be ready for this weekend against Seattle, a series which brings a lot of personal importance to Cameron, a Mariners outfielder from 2000-03.

Mets infielder Miguel Cairo is again nursing a tight left hamstring, a recurrence of the same injury that caused him to miss 10 games earlier this month. Kaz Matsui will likely be back in as the Mets' everyday second baseman.

First things first: Victor Diaz continued to get acclimated with first base before Tuesday's game, going through early-afternoon drills at the position.

With Doug Mientkiewicz hitting just .208 and sidelined with a bruised pectoral, the Mets have been scraping for ways to fill the first base slot in the lineup – Chris Woodward and Anderson have both had cracks at spelling Mientkiewicz, but Diaz would provide the greatest pop of the three.

The Mets are searching for a way to find Diaz at-bats anyway; before getting the start at Oakland Tuesday, going 0-for-3 in the loss, Diaz had amassed just eight at-bats this month. He is a former infielder, having played second base and third base coming up through the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system.

"We're just working him out there to get a feel for it," manager Willie Randolph told reporters. "Nothing is imminent. He needs to work there." Minor League Report

TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: Jae Seo (4-1) pitched well again for the Tides, holding Charlotte to two runs in seven innings and striking out seven in a 3-2 Norfolk win. The Tides scored all three runs off Charlotte's Brandon McCarthy in the fourth inning, with Chris Basak chopping a bases-loaded groundout and Angel Pagan rapping a two-run triple. Norfolk (38-28) leads Durham by 7.5 games in the International League South.

DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Aarom Baldiris stroked a two-run single and David Bacani contributed a two-run double, highlighting a six-run Binghamton fifth inning as the B-Mets edged New Hampshire, 7-5, on Tuesday. Orlando Roman (3-2) got the win with 3-1/3 innings of not-so-effective relief, allowing five runs, but became the pitcher of record after Yusmeiro Petit threw the first 2-2/3 innings, striking out six. Binghamton (30-30) has won three straight and trails Portland by 5.0 games in the Eastern League Northern Division.

HIGH-A ST. LUCIE: Caleb Stewart, Shawn Bowman and Corey Ragsdale each homered as the St. Lucie Mets defeated Jupiter Tuesday, 6-5. Tim Worthington (2-0) picked up the win in relief of Chuck Smith, who went the first 5-1/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits, striking out four and walking two. St. Lucie (27-35) has moved up to fourth place in the Florida State League East, trailing division-leading Vero Beach by 10.5 games.

LOW-A HAGERSTOWN: The Suns put on a hitting display Tuesday, with Grant Psomas and Jim Burt, Jr. each homering as part of an eight-run, 11-hit attack. Hagerstown won, 8-2, with Gaby Hernandez (4-1) pitching 6-1/3 innings of two-run, seven-hit ball, striking out seven. Hagerstown (39-27) trails first-place Lexington by one game in the South Atlantic League's Northern division.

On Deck

Victor Zambrano (3-6, 4.26) will try to even the Mets' series with Oakland on Wednesday, with another dose of late-night baseball beamed back to the East Coast. Danny Haren (4-7, 4.28) gets the nod for the A's, with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET.


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