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Marcum exits early again, Mets lose to Pirates 7-3

Saturday - 5/11/2013, 2:16am  ET

New York Mets pitcher Shaun Marcum reacts in the dugout after being removed from the baseball game during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Friday, May 10, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- These early exits by Shaun Marcum are not what the Mets had in mind when they signed him last winter.

Garrett Jones hit a three-run homer off Marcum -- a call that was correctly overturned by baseball's beleaguered umpires -- and Wandy Rodriguez pitched the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-3 victory over New York on Friday night.

Marcum (0-3) looked uncomfortable on the mound and worked deliberately all night. He has failed to get through the fifth inning in any of his three starts for the Mets since beginning the season on the disabled list.

"I think Shaun tried to hurry through the rehab and get up here because he knew we needed help," manager Terry Collins said. "I think we've got to run him out there again because, as I said the last start, he's basically towards the end of spring training."

Marcum had three 1-2-3 innings but still gave up six runs and nine hits. He also hit two batters with pitches.

It's the first time in his career that he's gone three straight starts without lasting five innings. He has never lost four decisions in a row.

"I feel good. The thing is, I'm just not making pitches," Marcum said. "When you don't throw 95 (mph) and the ball's up in the zone, they're going to get hit. The main thing is I've got to get back to locating and getting the ball down in the zone."

Mets captain David Wright went down after fouling a pitch off the inside of his left knee in the first inning, but stayed in the game until he was replaced at third base in the ninth.

"It was pretty sore, but he said he thought he could play," Collins said.

Jones opened a three-run second with a double to left-center, the first of four straight hits off Marcum. Pedro Alvarez had an RBI single and Rodriguez drove in a run with a bases-loaded smash up the middle that knocked Marcum's glove off his left hand.

The play turned into a 1-4-6 forceout after the ball deflected to second baseman Justin Turner. Marcum was checked twice by a trainer but remained in the game.

"I'm very, very worried about his hand. I thought for sure he broke his thumb the way the ball came off it," Collins said. "But the X-rays were negative, so we'll just get him on the side and, hopefully, he continues to get a little bit better."

Marcum said his hand was "still a little sore, but it should be good to go."

Pittsburgh made it 3-0 when Ruben Tejada struggled to get the ball out of his glove and double-clutched a throw on Starling Marte's run-scoring single to shortstop. The Pirates, who batted around in the inning, could easily have scored more if Jose Tabata hadn't been cut down at third for the first out on Alvarez's single to right.

With runners at the corners in the fifth, Jones hit a drive to right that just cleared a leaping Marlon Byrd. The ball caromed back onto the field off the bottom of a black retaining wall just above the fence and was initially ruled in play.

Jones ended up on third and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out for a quick chat with crew chief Joe West, who cracked a smile as the discussion began. The umpires went inside to look at the replay and, after a 1
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