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Lowly Pirates send Mets to fifth loss in last six games

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Mets' locker room emptied quickly as the
players rushed out trying to beat the crowd all leaving at once
after a postgame fireworks display.

The Pirates, with the worst record in the National League, also
gave them another reason to make a hasty exit from Shea Stadium.

All-Star Jason Bay drove in three runs and Paul Maholm held
slumping New York in check for six innings, leading Pittsburgh to
an 11-1 rout Monday night.

"We just didn't come out and do what we had to do," said Cliff
Floyd, who went 2-for-3 for the Mets.

The Pirates improved their major league-worst road record to
9-31 with the win over New York, which has lost six of its last
seven. The Mets have been outscored 27-8 in their last two games.

Pedro Martinez was originally scheduled to start the series
opener against the Pirates but was pushed back because of a sore
hip. The Mets aren't sure if Martinez will start again before the
break but manager Willie Randolph said he isn't concerned about his
star right-hander.

"When he's ready he'll let me know," Randolph said.

Bay hit a two-run double in Pittsburgh's five-run seventh, and
Ronny Paulino and Nate McLouth hit back-to-back home runs to start
the eighth.

Paulino finished with three hits and the Pirates have scored 41
runs in their last five games.

"I really feel like we took some of our best at-bats that we've
taken all year in run-producing situations," manager Jim Tracy
said. "Situational at-bats, some of the best that we've had all
year and they were followed up with other good at-bats."

The Mets put the leadoff hitter on in four innings against
Maholm (3-7) but could only score one run against the left-hander,
who struck out three and walked three. The first two batters
reached in the fourth and fifth but the Mets failed to score in
both innings.

New York left nine runners on base total.

"You can't let that many chances get away," Randolph said.

Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly in the third inning gave the Mets
a 1-0 lead but the Pirates pushed across three runs in the fifth to
take the lead.

With the bases loaded and two out, Jose Bautista got the
Pirates' third walk of the inning from John Maine (0-2) to tie it
at 1. Jack Wilson then singled to left to drive in Paulino and
Maholm scored when Floyd had trouble picking up the ball.

Bautista and Jeromy Burnitz hit RBI singles in the seventh and
Freddy Sanchez added a sacrifice fly. Bay, Pittsburgh's first
All-Star starter in 13 years, singled in a run in the eighth.

Maholm, who allowed seven hits, got his first win since May 16.
He was 0-3 with four no-decisions in his previous seven starts.

"For me, it's huge," he said. "For the team, it's huge
because we went out and executed as good as we could. We got the
key hits when we needed them."

Maine, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game,
allowed three runs and three hits in 4 2-3 innings for the Mets.
Long reliever Darren Oliver was scheduled to start in place of
Martinez but the Mets switched gears and called up Maine so they
could keep their rotation and bullpen in place for their final
eight games before the All-Star break.

"It looked like he just hit a wall," Randolph said of Maine.
"He was pitching well, throwing the ball well. Guys come up from
Triple-A, they're not used to hitting and that may make a
difference."

Maine, who struck out and grounded out, said hitting wasn't a
problem.

"I just couldn't get the pitch I needed in the fifth," he
said. "That shouldn't have happened."

Oliver threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of Maine but the
Pirates roughed up Chad Bradford and Pedro Feliciano for eight runs
and 10 hits over two innings.

Game notes
Mets RHP Alay Soler was sent down to Norfolk to make room
for Maine. Soler complained Monday about some tightness in his
right calf and will be examined by a doctor before he reports to
Norfolk. ... Pirates INF Jose Hernandez has a stiff back and is day
to day. ... Mets LHP Tom Glavine, Tuesday's scheduled starter,
needs one win to tie Bert Blyleven for 24th place on the career
wins list with 287 victories. ... 1B Sean Casey doubled in the
first inning to give the Pirates at least one extra-base hit in 53
straight games. ... Floyd made a nice sliding catch in the sixth
and seventh to take a hit away from Jose Castillo each time.