Mets aim to make it two in a row in San Diego

Published August 16, 2011

| Sports Network

Mets starter Jonathon Niese pitched well the last time he game series in San Diego.

Niese allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits over 7 2/3 innings in last Thursday's 3-2 loss at home to the Padres. He also struck out seven batters and is 1-1 with a 1.08 earned run average in two career starts against San Diego. Niese was 2-0 in three starts before the recent loss and fell to 11-9 in 25 games (24 starts) to go along with a 4.03 ERA.

The left-hander is still a solid 4-2 in his previous six decisions and owns a 6-3 mark in 12 road games (11 starts) this season.

New York was able to end a five-game losing streak with Monday's 5-4 victory in 10 innings at Petco Park. Jason Pridie scored on a fielder's choice by Scott Hairston in the top of the 10th inning and closer Jason Isringhausen evaded some trouble in the bottom half to lock down his seventh save and 300th for his career. Isringhausen became the 23rd pitcher to reach that mark.

"We had a champagne party here a while ago and stuff like that," Isringhausen said. "It is special. It's the reason I came back."

Lucas Duda went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, while Pridie scored three times for the Mets. Josh Thole went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI. Manny Acosta earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief and starter R.A. Dickey lasted 6 1/3 innings, yielding three runs and seven hits.

San Diego has lost five of its last eight games and started a seven-game homestand on the wrong foot. Starter Aaron Harang put the Padres in a big hole by giving up four runs over the first five innings and Josh Spence was saddled with the loss for surrendering the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th.

Will Venable hit a two-run homer and Kyle Blanks finished with two hits and an RBI, as the Padres fell to 14-22 since July 6.

"Happy to be swinging the bat well," Venable said. "I don't like looking back too much. It's disappointing that it wasn't there from the beginning. But we all go through it."

The Padres will also host Florida for four games at Petco Park.

Cory Luebke opposed Niese in last Thursday's 3-2 win and did not record a decision with five innings of two-run ball. Luebke struck out eight batters and walked four in his first appearance against the Mets, and is 4-6 with a 3.09 ERA through 38 games, nine of which have been starts, this season.

Luebke is 1-0 in his last two starts since a personal three-game slide.

New York leads the 2011 series with San Diego by a 3-2 count and hasn't won a road series in this matchup since the 2002 campaign.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/08/16/mets-aim-to-make-it-two-in-row-in-san-diego/