Friday, August 12, 2011

Preview : Game 118 - Mets at Diamondbacks


New York Mets (58-59) at Arizona Diamondbacks (65-53), 9:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Dillon Gee (10-3, 3.93) Arizona - Ian Kennedy (14-3, 3.20)

Arizona's victory on Thursday was the kind of win that first-place teams are often able to pull out.

After holding on to an edge atop the National League West last night, Ian Kennedy will try to pad the advantage tonight with his seventh straight victory as the Diamondbacks begin a three-game series with the New York Mets at Chase Field.

Arizona carried a half-game lead over idle San Francisco for first place in the division into Thursday's finale with Houston, but seemed destined to fall back into a tie for the top spot before some late-inning heroics.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning to force extra innings before Chris Young belted a walk-off three-run homer in the 10th for an 8-5 victory. It was only Arizona's second victory in 50 games when trailing after eight innings as it won the final three contests of the four- game set with Houston.



"I didn't think about mechanics, I didn't think about my last few at-bats," said Young, who had not homered since July 2. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard."

Kennedy may want to look back on his last few starts as he brings a career- best six-game winning streak into tonight's opener. The right-hander is pitching to a 2.63 earned run average over his run, which began following a loss on July 3 in which he allowed seven runs over 5 2/3 innings of work.

Kennedy extended his win streak on Sunday versus the Dodgers, giving up three runs on six hits over seven innings. He improved to 14-3 with a 3.20 ERA this season.

"I just try to throw a quality game when I go out there," Kennedy said. "I made some pitches where I left some balls up and they got some hits off me. I just tried to let my team pick me up today and they really did."

The 26-year-old has won both of his previous career starts versus the Mets, allowing six runs over 11 innings.

The Mets hit the road following a 3-6 road trip and they dropped the final two contests of a four-game series with the Padres. That set ended with Thursday's 3-2 loss as San Diego plated the go-ahead run when Ruben Tejada booted a ball hit by Aaron Cunningham for an error.

"Nothing you can do about it. You've got to try to go make that play," said Mets third baseman David Wright, who passed Ed Kranepool (2,047) for the most total bases in club history. "It took a tough hop on him. We've all been there. He's played great defense."

New York's Lucas Duda opened the scoring with a two-run double in the third and Jon Niese took a tough-luck loss despite giving up just two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings.

The Mets turn to Dillon Gee tonight and the righty is 2-0 over his last four starts. However, he struggled in his last outing on Sunday versus the Braves, getting charged with five runs on six hits over five innings of a no-decision.

"I didn't get the job done, I pitched terrible," Gee said after giving up three home runs.

The 25-year-old righty is 10-3 with a 3.93 ERA this year and faced the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career on April 23. He picked up a victory, allowing four runs -- two earned -- on five hits over six innings.

New York swept that three-game set at home after losing five of six to Arizona a season ago.
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