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Mets seek some innings from Gee in clash with Padres

The New York Mets are hoping Dillon Gee can last longer and perform much better than Jeremy Hefner did last night when he takes the mound Friday in the second installment of a four-game series versus the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.

Hefner was pounded for six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings in Thursday's 11-5 loss. Hefner, who was forced to sit over an hour due to a rain delay, was making his first start in the majors and is a former Padres draft pick.

"It's not an excuse, but that rain delay took the momentum that we had and kind of turned it against us a little bit," third baseman David Wright said on the team's site. "It felt like we were playing well for the first couple innings. I felt like Hef was throwing the ball well. Then all of the sudden we sit around for an hour, and they just came out swinging."

Wright finished with three hits, two RBI and went deep for the fifth time this season. Ike Davis drove in a pair of runs for the Mets, who had won three of four games and opened a season-high 11-game homestand on a sour note. They are tied with Miami at 2 1/2 games off the NL East lead. New York will also host Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Gee, meanwhile, will make his ninth start of the season tonight for the Mets and ended a three-start drought in a 6-5 win at Toronto on Sunday. He allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 3-3 in eight starts and lowered his ERA to 5.44. Gee, who is 0-3 in four starts at home, won his only start against the Padres last Aug. 17 in a 7-3 win at Petco Park. He tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball that day.

San Diego was able to halt a three-game slide in a big way on Thursday and won for just the third time in eight tries. The Padres finished with an 18-9 advantage in hits, as Everth Cabrera ended 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and Cameron Maybin collected three hits, three runs scored and two RBI. The four hits for Cabrera were a career high.

Will Venable and Jesus Guzman each had two hits and two RBI, while Nick Hundley homered for San Diego, which is 1-3 on a 10-game road trip and didn't seem to mind the rain delay.

"The good thing about our guys is I don't hear them complain. I really don't," said Padres manager Bud Black about coming back from the delay. "Our guys come to play."

Hoping to play soon is Padres slugger Carlos Quentin, who is currently disabled because of right knee surgery. Quentin unfortunately had a setback in his rehabilitation and is slated to play for Class A Lake Elsinore on Friday. Quentin said he didn't feel right in his batting stance and needed to go back to San Diego for an examination. He appeared in three games in extended spring action. He has played in seven minor league games, last appearing on May 10.

"Now he feels good in his stance, and we think the time off gave him what he needed," Black said. "It's very encouraging how he's feeling right now."

Taking the mound for San Diego tonight will be Anthony Bass. Bass is 2-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 games (8 starts) this season and did not record a decision in Sunday's 3-2 win over the LA Angels of Anaheim. Bass tossed six innings of two-run ball and struck out six that day.

The right-handed Bass has no record and a 2.25 ERA in four career relief appearances against the Mets.

The Padres and Mets are meeting for the first time since New York won four of seven matchups a season ago. San Diego has won its last three games at Citi Field.