PITTSBURGH -- Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey threw eight innings in Friday night's 7-2 win over the Pirates, allowing just one earned run -- which was impressive since he had not pitched that deep into a game since June 8.

It was more impressive when you consider that he was sick and threw up on his way back to the dugout after his pregame bullpen session.

Pelfrey hopes going deep into the game is a sign of good things to come.

"I definitely feel like I'm getting back to where I was earlier in the year," Pelfrey said. "Hopefully we don't have too many more stretches like that, and hopefully I can stay consistent, and go out there and give the team a chance to win, so they don't have to wonder about what they are going to get every night. It would be good if I was able to do that."

Carter earns second start at cleanup spot

PITTSBURGH -- Mets right fielder Chris Carter was in the cleanup spot for the first time in his career Friday, and he responded with a first-inning RBI single and a solo homer in the third inning.

He was back in the cleanup spot for Saturday night's bout with the Pirates, going 0-for-2 with a walk in the Mets' 5-1 victory.

"When I looked at the lineup today, I felt some pressure, felt we've been struggling offensively, maybe I need to try to hit a home run or try to hit a couple of home runs," Carter said. "[Mets manager] Jerry [Manuel] pulled me aside in batting practice and said, 'Hey, Chris, I'm not putting you in the four-hole because you're a slugger. I'm putting you in the four-hole because you're a great hitter.'"

Manuel has been pleased with what Carter has done since being called up on May 11.

"I knew he brought certain energy and some certain intangibles," Manuel said. "I did not realize how good a hitter that he was, just a hitter and not necessarily a slugger. He's proven that he can do some things with the bat."

Reyes swinging hot bat away from Citi Field

PITTSBURGH -- Mets shortstop Jose Reyes had two more hits on Saturday and is 13-for-27 in the first six games of the road trip. Reyes finished Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Pirates having recorded a hit in each of his past 10 road games, dating back to June 28.

"He's running as well as I've seen him run in a long time," said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. "He's swinging the bat well and playing a good shortstop. He's performing extremely well and we need him to continue -- and other people to pick it up."

Reyes appears to have fully recovered from a right oblique injury he suffered in July that caused him to sit out the All-Star Game.

"It took him a little while," Manuel said. "He was doing pretty good before he had the injury, where he was really playing well. Once he got over the oblique, he was probably a little hesitant, and now I feel like he's freed up. He's playing the type of game that he's accustomed too and were accustomed to seeing."

Worth noting

In honor of African American Heritage Day, the Pirates wore the uniforms of the Pittsburgh Crawfords in Saturday night's game and the Mets wore the uniform of the New York Cubans. ... The Mets have 16 wins from rookie pitchers this year (Jon Niese has seven, Hisanori Takahashi has seven and Raul Valdes has a pair). That total ranks second in the Majors, two behind the Reds. ... David Wright's three hits Friday night moved him into sole possession of fourth place on the Mets' all-time hits list. Saturday's homer gave him 1,116 hits -- four ahead of Mookie Wilson.