Mets start series in Minnesota

Lefty Jonathon Niese gets his second career crack at the Minnesota Twins on Friday when the New York Mets visit Target Field to open a three-game weekend interleague series.

Niese was a 6-0 winner when the teams met on June 27, 2010 in New York after tossing six innings of four-hit ball with three walks and five strikeouts.

He went on to win nine games that season in 30 starts and has subsequently won 11 and 13 games across 57 appearances in two seasons as a full-time member of the Mets' rotation.

Niese's 2013 debut resulted in an 11-2 defeat of the San Diego Padres on April 1, and he returned five days later to toss six innings of two-run ball while getting a no-decision in New York's 7-3 defeat of Miami.

For his career, the 26-year-old is 19-13 in 45 road outings with a 4.14 earned run average.

The Twins counter with right-hander Vance Worley, who'll face the Mets for the 10th time after beginning his career alongside them in the National League's East Division with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Worley made 53 appearances for Philadelphia through the end of 2012 before heading to Minnesota in a trade that sent outfielder Ben Revere to the Phillies.

He was 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 38 1/3 career innings against the Mets over nine appearances - seven starts - while allowing 52 hits, striking out 35 batters and permitting an opposition average of .329.

Worley's picked up a loss and a no-decision in his first two outings with Minnesota while combining to allow 18 hits and eight runs in 11 innings.

On Wednesday in Philadelphia, Chase Utley had a two-run homer and Domonic Brown's three-run shot capped a big first inning, as the Phillies outlasted the Mets, 7-3, to take the rubber match of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

For the second straight night, the Mets only got three innings of work out of their starter. Jeremy Hefner (0-2) was tagged for five runs on six hits with three walks as New York dropped a second straight game.

"In a lineup that can hit homers, you can't make a lot of mistakes, and we made them the last two nights," Mets managers Terry Collins said.

Lucas Duda had three hits and hit two solo homers and John Buck had a solo shot as well for New York, while Jordany Valdespin had three hits.

Minnesota enters this series on the heels of getting swept by the Kansas City Royals, culminating with a 3-0 loss on Wednesday. Joe Mauer and Chris Parmelee each had two hits apiece in the loss for the Twins, who have lost four of six.

Liam Hendriks (0-1) picked up the loss despite allowing just one run in five innings while striking out four. He is now just 1-11 in his brief MLB career.

The Mets won two of three games the last time the teams played in 2010. The Twins lead the all-time series, 7-5.