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Preview: Mets at Giants

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The New York Mets are this season’s marathon men. They’ve played four games of 15 or more innings, including Monday’s 16-inning, 4-3 series-opening victory over the struggling San Francisco Giants. While the Mets have won three of their last four games, the Giants have lost 12 of their last 14 to fall a season-high 6 1/2 games behind first-place Arizona in the National League West.

San Francisco has scored two or fewer runs in 12 of its last 17 games, and there is plenty of blame to go around. First baseman Brandon Belt went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in Monday’s loss, and third baseman Pablo Sandoval has six hits in his last 51 at-bats after going 1-for-6 in the series opener. Shortstop Brandon Crawford broke out of a 7-for-58 slump with three hits Monday, but his rare defensive miscue allowed the Mets to score the go-ahead run in the 16th inning.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), Comcast SportsNet-Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45 ERA) vs. Giants LH Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44)

Gee continued his recent surge with an impressive outing against the Diamondbacks last Thursday, when he allowed two runs over seven innings. The 27-year-old is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA over his past seven starts, with 47 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. He’s 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Giants.

After winning three of his first four starts this season, Zito has struggled in recent weeks with an 0-3 record and a 4.44 ERA over his last six outings. The 35-year-old Zito, who is 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 10 home starts, allowed one run over four-plus innings against the Reds last Wednesday. He’s 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.

WALK-OFFS

1. Mets 3B David Wright is batting .324 (12-for-37) during his nine-game hitting streak.

2. The Giants placed INF Joaquin Arias on the 15-day disabled list with appendicitis and recalled INF Nick Noonan from Triple-A Fresno.

3. The Mets have won five of the last seven series in San Francisco dating back to 2006.

PREDICTION: Giants 5, Mets 4

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130709/preview-mets-at-giants