Carlos Beltran slugs three two-run homers, Mets top Rockies

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Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran put a personal hurting on the Rockies’ pitching staff this evening at Denver’s Coors Field, slugging three two-run homers in a 9-5 victory.

It was the first three-homer game of Beltran’s career and only the eighth three-homer performance in Mets franchise history. Jose Reyes was the last to do it, back in mid-August of 2006.

Beltran got off to a bit of a slow start at the plate this season while continuing to build the strength of his surgically-repaired right knee. But he’s been scorching hot since the middle of April and entered Thursday’s action with a 1.075 OPS in the month of May. That number obviously rose again with today’s show of power.

Beltran now leads all Mets hittters with eight home runs. He also has 24 RBI and 20 extra-base hits.

The more he rakes, the higher his trade value will be come mid-summer. And it seems highly likely that the rebuilding Mets will try to get something for him before his contract expires at the end of the year.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman is already suggesting that the White Sox, A’s, Tigers and Red Sox will have interest.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.