Mets Fire Hitting Coach

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NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets have fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens after their latest loss.

The Mets announced Hudgens was out after Pittsburgh's 5-3 win on Monday. The Mets also cut reliever Jose Valverde after he was hit hard.

The 57-year-old Hudgens was in his fourth season as the Mets' hitting coach. The Mets began the day with a .237 batting average, ranking among the worst in the majors.

New York has lost nine of its last 12 games and scored a total of just 32 runs in that span.

Mets star David Wright said, "When you struggle the way we've struggled offensively a finger, obviously gets pointed. A lot of times that finger gets pointed unfairly."

Valverde gave up four runs while getting only two outs against the Pirates. The 36-year-old righty was 1-1 with a 5.66 ERA.

Valverde joined the Mets this year and briefly was their closer.