Friday, June 10, 2011

Preview : 2011 Regular Season Game 63 - Mets at Pirates


New York Mets (30-32) at Pittsburgh Pirates (30-31), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Dillon Gee (6-0, 3.33) Pittsburgh - Charlie Morton (6-2, 2.52)

Jose Reyes' hitting streak may be over, but New York Mets starter Dillon Gee is still unbeaten on the season.

Gee draws the assignment tonight in the opener of a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park and is 6-0 with a 3.33 earned run average in 11 games (8 starts). He has won four straight starts and fired seven shutout innings in a 5-0 victory over Atlanta last Saturday.

The right-hander defeated Pittsburgh on May 30 in a 7-3 victory, as he held the Pirates to three runs in seven innings with a season-high eight strikeouts. Gee is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two career games (1 start) against the Pirates and is the only undefeated starting pitcher in the NL.

New York just won two of three meetings at Milwaukee to start up a 10-game road trip and received a strong start from Jon Niese. Niese limited the Brewers to a run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings with eight K's and four walks, improving to 5-5 this season. Francisco Rodriguez went the rest of the way for his 18th save in the 4-1 victory.

"Niese looked really great tonight," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "He took it to them and got ahead of the hitters. It was a really impressive performance from him."



Angel Pagan and Ruben Tejada both had two hits and an RBI, while Daniel Murphy and Jason Pridie each knocked in a run for New York, which has won seven of its last 11 contests. Reyes went 0-for-5 at the plate and had his 12-game hitting streak come to an end. He hit .462 during the streak.

Mets outfielder Jason Bay has been working on his swing the past few days and will make his first return to Pittsburgh since a trade to Boston in 2008. Bay hasn't played since Wednesday and is the only Rookie of the Year in Pirates history.

The Pirates will resume a 10-game homestand Friday night and had a chance to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks in three games before losing Thursday's series finale by a 2-0 score.

Chris Young's two-run homer off of Pittsburgh reliever Chris Resop in the top of the eighth inning accounted for the scoring. Resop was saddled with the loss and starter Jeff Karstens tossed seven scoreless innings in the no- decision.

"We just played the National League East's first-place team and we were able to win the series and we just won a series against the National League West team in first place," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're just going to keep chipping away."

Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-3 with a walk for the Pirates, who had won four of five and six of eight games coming into the contest.

The Pirates, who are 4-2 so far on the homestand, will send Charlie Morton to the mound on Friday and he's 6-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 starts. He is coming off last Saturday's 6-3 win over Philadelphia in which he limited the NL East leaders to a pair of runs in seven innings. Morton, who is 2-1 in five home starts, did not record a decision against the Mets in a 7-3 loss on May 30.

Morton gave up three runs, one of which was earned, and 11 hits in six innings at Citi Field. He is 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three career games (2 starts) against the Mets.

The Mets and Pirates split a four-game set in Flushing, NY from May 30-June 2, but New York is 9-3 in the previous 12 meetings.
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