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With Manuel out, Mets clobber Pirates

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NEW YORK (AP)

As he walked into the postgame interview room, Sandy Alomar Sr. shouted out a request for the media to take it easy on him. He followed that up with a hearty laugh, knowing it would be difficult to grill him. The New York Mets had just completed what might have been their most well-rounded win of the season. Alomar took over the manager's seat for the suspended Jerry Manuel on Saturday, and the Mets took advantage of an expansive Citi Field to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-1 for their sixth straight win. "It was a great day in the park," said Alomar, who didn't think he ever had to act as manager in the big leagues. "When you get 10 runs, the other team one, I don't know if there's anything difficult to it." Manuel was suspended one game for making contact with umpire Bill Welke during an argument in the Mets' 7-5 win over Philadelphia on Thursday night. Jose Reyes capped a five-run fourth with a two-run single, and the Mets had 13 well-placed singles out of a season-high 17 hits to improve to 10-6 at their new ballpark. Carlos Beltran hit a long home run and David Wright tripled, giving the Mets 12 homers and 11 three-base hits at home this season. Reyes finished with three hits, three RBIs and a stolen base for New York, which moved three games over .500 for the first time this year. "He makes me young just watching him, the energy he has," said Gary Sheffield, who made a sliding catch on a sinking liner in left. John Maine overcame what he called his worst pregame warm ups of the year to pitch six innings. He allowed just three hits, inducing nine flyouts and making only one mistake: Paul Maholm's first career homer leading off the fifth, after Maine had sat 23 minutes during the Mets' five-run inning. "At least something positive happened today," Maholm said. "The first time since '98 I hit one. I was a junior in high school." The loss was Pittsburgh's seventh straight and 11th in 12 games after an 11-7 start. "We've just got to stay after it. That's all we can do," Pirates manager John Russell said. "The guys are pressing a little bit, but that's only natural." The Mets sent 10 batter to the plate in the fourth, using six singles and a walk to help hand Maholm (3-1) his first loss of the season in seven starts. Maholm had retired eight straight after giving up two singles and a wild pitch for a run in the first. Wright, Sheffield - who had his first multihit game of the season - and Fernando Tatis had consecutive RBI hits before Reyes got his two-run single to break open the game. "We have the players, the ingredients and I believe that the players are believing more and more in the things that we've been doing," Alomar said. Mets starters improved to 5-0 during the winning streak as Maine (3-2) won his third straight. He walked just two - one intentionally - after giving six free passes in his outing May 4 against Atlanta. "They didn't have many walks but I could have done better," said Maine, who threw 102 pitches. "It's just three good starts in a row, and next time hopefully I'll lower the pitches a little bit and get to the seventh." Beltran homered into the second deck of the left-field stands, his sixth homer of the year, leading off the fifth to make it 7-1. Wright had his run-scoring triple in the seventh. "I think the only hard hit ball they had all day was Beltran's home run and that was one of my few bad pitches. The other ones I pretty much hit my spot," said Maholm, who gave up 10 hits and seven runs in a season-low five innings.

Notes

Mets C Ramon Castro left the game because of a tight right quadriceps. ... Howard Stern producer Gary "Bababooey" Dell'Abate threw out the ceremonial first pitch as the host of Autism Awareness Day. He didn't get the ball close to the plate. ... Pirates SS Jack Wilson (sprained left middle finger) doubled and had two RBIs in his first rehab game with Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday night. ... The Mets have outscored opponents 33-14 in the first inning. ... The Pirates fell to 4-1 on Saturdays.
Tagged: Pirates, Mets

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