Inside Pitch: Pedro returns 'home'

Pedro Martinez returned to Fenway Park, the place he considers his professional home, on Tuesday night. The Mets ace reiterated he wanted to remain with the Red Sox, and conceded his stated desire to stay worked against him in negotiations after the 2004 World Series.

"I said, 'I don't want to leave Boston,'" Martinez said. "For business, that's bad. They're thinking, 'If he doesn't want to leave Boston, then he'll take whatever we give him.'

"Saying I want to stay in Boston didn't work."

Martinez said the Red Sox didn't offer a three-year deal until late in the process, but by then he had told the Mets he would take their four-year, $53 million contract proposal.

Martinez will pitch Wednesday night against the Red Sox, and he believes he will receive a different reception than that of Johnny Damon when the outfielder returned with the Yankees.

"He was wearing the wrong uniform," Martinez said. "I didn't make the same mistake."

REPLAY: Mets manager Willie Randolph said the American League East would be a good test for his team.

The Mets didn't pass Tuesday night's exam at Fenway Park, losing 9-4 to the Red Sox despite hitting three homers.

The home runs by Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Eli Marrero all came with the bases empty and did little to help Alay Soler, who gave up eight runs in a season-low 4 1/3 innings.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • RF Xavier Nady left Tuesday's game in the eighth inning with a bruised right wrist. X-rays were negative, and he is listed day-to-day. Nady was hit by a pitch thrown by Boston RHP Julian Tavarez.

  • SS Jose Reyes' 13-game hitting streak was snapped when he went 0-for-5 Tuesday in Boston.

  • RHP Duaner Sanchez, who sustained a pinched nerve in his neck Friday at Toronto, pitched the eighth inning Tuesday night, allowing three hits and a run against Boston.

  • C Paul Lo Duca, who missed the last two games of the Toronto series with a jammed left thumb, returned to the lineup Tuesday at Boston. Lo Duca went 2-for-5.

  • LF Cliff Floyd's rehab game Tuesday night with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets was rained out. The Mets are hopeful Floyd will return for the weekend series against the Yankees.

  • UT Eli Marrero homered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, his first pinch homer and the Mets' second of the season.

  • RHP Alay Soler gave up eight runs on 10 hits in a season-low 4 1/3 innings Tuesday night at Boston. The Mets have now lost the last three games he has started.

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