Mets snap five-game losing streak at Rockies expense
DENVER – With Willie Randolph under pressure, the New York Mets finally ended their five-game skid with a 9-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.New York general manager Omar Minaya made the holiday weekend trip to Colorado, leading to speculation that Randolph is under evaluation and his job could be in jeopardy.David Wright hit his ninth homer of the season, and Carlos Beltran had a three-run double as part of a five-run first.Nick Evans, making his major league debut, had three doubles and two RBIs and Claudio Vargas pitched seven solid innings. Vargas, throwing on three days rest, picked up his first win with the Mets. The right-hander went seven innings, giving up two runs and scattering four hits.Duaner Sanchez and Pedro Feliciano pitched the last two frames, allowing only a walk while striking out one each.Vargas (1-2) was let go by Milwaukee in late March and signed to a minor league deal by New York. His contract purchased by the team on May 13.Evans arrived at Coors Field about three hours before game time after New York purchased his contract from Double-A Binghamton. He took the spot of Marlon Anderson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.The 22-year-old left fielder is the first player to get three extra base hits in his debut with the Mets since Kaz Matsui on April 6, 2004, in Atlanta during his rookie season. Matsui had two doubles and a home run in the game.Evans finished 3-for-4 before being lifted in the eighth as part of a double switch.Carlos Delgado’s homer in the ninth was the 439th of his career. He’s now in sole possession of 35th place on the all-time list, passing Andre Dawson.Jeff Francis (1-5) struggled with his command in the first, before settling down. He lasted six innings, surrendering six runs and seven hits while striking out a season-high eight. He gave up just one run and two hits after the opening frame.Francis had been lights out in the day time before Saturday, going 9-0 in his last 11 afternoon starts.Matt Holliday went deep for a second straight game, helping him extend his hitting streak to 10. His solo shot off Vargas in the first was his eighth homer of the season.The Rockies made roster moves before the game as shortstop Clint Barmes (right knee sprain) and right fielder Brad Hawpe (right hamstring) were both placed on the 15-day disabled list. The team recalled outfielder Seth Smith and infielder Ian Stewart from Triple-A Colorado Springs.Both were in the starting lineup Saturday.Stewart was a late replacement at third for Garrett Atkins, who was scratched from the game with a stiff neck.Notes: Mets RHP Pedro Martinez will throw a bullpen session Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. … INF Jose Valentin went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI on Friday night for Single-A St. Lucie in a rehab assignment. Valentin had surgery to fix his torn right ACL on Sept. 25. … Randolph sat OF Ryan Church (mild concussion) for another game. “He still says he feels a little funny,” Randolph said.
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