Mets GM Steve Phillips sent a message to his struggling team, firing three coaches yesterday after the team lost its eighth straight game.

Pitching coach Bob Apodaca, bullpen coach Randy Niemann and hitting coach Tom Robson were fired hours after the Mets' 6-3 loss to the Yankees.

"This was a tough evening for the organization," Phillips said. "We are one-third of the way through the season and that is enough time to make an evaluation. There is still enough time to get the ship righted."

Advisor Dave Wallace, the Dodgers' pitching coach for three years, will take over the pitchers, minor league pitching coordinator Al Jackson takes over the bullpen, and minor league hitting coordinator Mickey Brantley becomes hitting coach.

The Mets' losing streak is their longest since an eight-game skid Aug. 21-30, 1996 -- a stretch during which Manager Bobby Valentine was hired.

PADRES' MOVES: The Padres recalled RHP Will Cunnane from AAA Las Vegas and announced they will request unconditional release waivers on LHP Ed Vosberg, who refused an outright assignment to Las Vegas. Cunnane dominated the Pacific Coast League, going 2-1 with eight saves and a 0.55 earned run average in 24 appearances. Vosberg had no record and a 9.72 ERA in 15 relief appearances.

San Diego also signed 2B Carlos Baerga and OF Wayne Kirby to minor league contracts and assigned them to Las Vegas.