Martinez ruins return from DL for Braves' Hampton
FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) --
New York Mets
ruined the return of a former Met.
Martinez yielded just two hits in six scoreless innings as the Mets posted an 8-1 victory over the
to salvage a split of a four-game series.
Although Martinez (11-3) was going for his fourth win in five starts, it was Braves starter
who drew much of the attention before Sunday's game. Sidelined since June 5 with tightness in his left forearm, the lefthander returned to the rotation upon being activated earlier in the day.
Hampton is one of a series of veterans returning to duty for Atlanta, which activated
prior to his 3-0 win Saturday and is expected to get star third baseman
back early next week.
A key member of the Mets' National League pennant-winning team in 2000, Hampton (4-2) gave up five runs and seven hits before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the top of the third. It was the shortest outing of the season for the 32-year-old, who threw 58 pitches, including 36 for strikes.
Despite Hampton's pitch count being just four fewer than Hudson's total Saturday, Braves manager
"I'm really pleased with his velocity," Cox said. "I saw more than I expected to see. I can't say I'm happy with the outcome but much more pleased with what I saw."
"The consistency wasn't there," Hampton said. "I made some mistakes over the plate with two strikes. But I made some good pitches to get to two strikes."
Meanwhile, Martinez retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. He struck out five and did not issue a walk, improving to 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts against Atlanta this season.
"He's always very efficient," Mets manager
said. "I just sit back and watch him be the technician that he is. I'm always a lot more relaxed when he's pitching because he knows what he's doing."
Martinez improved to 5-1 following a loss by New York and also allowed one run or less for the ninth time in 19 starts. He gave up just a single to
in the second and a double to
two frames later.
"That is why you guys (the media) call me the ace," Martinez said. "I'm used to doing it, I've done it for a long time."
"We are confident when he's on the mound," New York catcher
said. "He just has amazing control and hits both sides of the plate. He's just pitching great."
Despite throwing just 61 pitches, Martinez was lifted due to New York's 6-0 lead and Randolph's desire to get some work for his relievers.
"I just wanted to get some of my bullpen some work," Randolph said. "I just felt good about the score of the game. I felt very comfortable because anytime you can get Pedro out in a game like that, you do it."
Martinez, who hadn't pitched since last Sunday at Pittsburgh and tossed 129 innings before the All-Star break, didn't disagree.
"Today was just an easy day at the office," Martinez said. "I agree with everything (the coaching stuff does). I trust them completely, they know what they're doing. I could use the rest for August and September when they really need me."
After Martinez's strong start, righthander
made his debut for the Mets, tossing a scoreless seventh.
allowed an unearned run in the eighth and seldom-used lefthander Dae-Sung Koo finished up New York's fourth win in 13 games vs. Atlanta.
had three hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning, giving the Mets a 5-0 lead. He added an RBI single in the seventh for an 8-0 cushion.
drove in two runs and
added two hits, an RBI and scored three times for New York (46-46).
Atlanta lost for the fourth time in six games following a six-game winning streak.