Mets-Rockies Preview

A deadline day trade delivered Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets, giving them the much-needed bona fide big bat in the middle of the lineup.

He's making that look like an excellent decision.

Cespedes looks to build on the best performance of his career as the NL East-leading Mets try to continue their dominance of the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.

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New York (65-56) may be last in the majors with a .238 average, but its offense has been much better since getting Cespedes from Detroit last month.

The Mets are 12-6 since the deal, averaging 5.33 runs with 29 homers to rank among the best in the majors during that stretch.

Cespedes hit three of New York's five homers Friday, connecting for a grand slam, a two-run shot and a solo blast while going 5 for 6 with seven RBIs and five runs in a 14-9 win. His 15 total bases were one shy of the franchise record set by Edgardo Alfonzo on Aug. 30, 1999.

"Good hitters find a night where they can lock themselves in and they won't miss a ball," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "They will hit it hard. I had that kind of night. This was the best night I have ever had."

Cespedes is hitting .316 with five homers and 15 RBIs with the Mets, including a .390 average while knocking in 12 in nine road games.

He's 8 for 15 with four homers, two doubles and nine RBIs his last three matchups with Colorado.

"Tough to keep him down for long," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's got big-time power. We saw it on display. It's just a matter of time before he gets rolling over there and he certainly did."

New York has won all five meetings with Colorado (49-71) this season and nine in a row dating to last year.

Jonathon Niese (7-9, 3.50 ERA) will try to push that streak to 10 as he seeks to win a third straight decision. He is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his last four starts and has allowed one run and 12 hits over 22 2-3 innings while going 2-0 in his past three road outings.

The left-hander, though, has a 6.75 ERA in three career starts at Coors Field. He limited the Rockies to two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win Aug. 10 at Citi Field.

The Rockies have dropped nine of their last 11 games, including those five defeats to New York. They're batting .199 and averaging 1.9 runs over the last nine matchups despite getting 13 hits Friday - eight for extra bases.

Nolan Arenado hit his 30th homer and also had a pair of doubles in the loss. He's batting .414 with nine RBIs in his last seven games.

Chris Rusin (4-5, 3.99) experienced Colorado's offensive woes against New York on Aug. 11, when he allowed one run in six innings of a 4-0 loss.

The left-hander, however, didn't need much help five days later when he tossed a five-hitter in a 5-0 win over San Diego for his first career complete game.

"I knew I had good location and I was able to hit my spots," Rusin said. "I just used that to my advantage and tried to do that the entire game."

Rusin is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven home starts.