(AP) — The New York Mets haven’t generated much offense lately, but they haven’t needed much while getting back-to-back gems from their starting pitchers.
They’re hoping for another strong performance Friday night against the Miami Marlins, though they’ll be up against Henderson Alvarez, who has been strong in his own right lately.
New York (33-40) has scored 11 runs in its last six gamesand just four in back-to-back victories. The Mets had lost five in a row at Miami before Thursday’s 1-0 victory behind Zach Wheeler’s three-hit shutout. They were a night removed from Bartolo Colon yielding one run over eight innings in a 3-2 win at St. Louis.
David Wright accounted for the lone run with a first-inning homer off Andrew Heaney, who was making his big league debut. Wright had gone 18 straight games without a home run before hitting two in his last three games.
Miami (36-36) hasn’t been lighting up the scoreboard either after a 1-0 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday. The Marlins were tied with Atlanta for first place after June 5, but have since gone 4-8.
“You’ve got to tip your cap to a guy who pitched a great game,” said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was 1 for 3 in his first game since May 31 after he had been sidelined by a concussion.
The Marlins are hoping for a dominant outing of their own Friday from Alvarez (3-3, 2.56 ERA). Miami has won each of his last six starts, though he’s just 1-0 in that span despite a 1.60 ERA.
Alvarez has yielded only two runs over 32 innings in his last four home starts, a stretch that started with a six-hit shutout of the Mets on May 6. He also gave up two runs over six innings in a 4-3 loss at New York on April 25, though he didn’t factor into the decision.
He’s 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last four against New York since allowing six runs and nine hits in his first matchup on May 20, 2012.
Wright is 5 for 13 against him.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.81) takes the mound for New York, hoping to go much deeper than his last start when he was bothered by a severely upset stomach. He threw just one inning Sunday against San Diego, allowing no runs, but also logged a scoreless inning of relief in Tuesday’s loss at St. Louis.
Matsuzaka failed to retire any of the five batters he faced while blowing a save opportunity in a 4-3 defeat in Miami on May 5.
Giancarlo Stanton rejoined the Marlins’ lineup after exiting Wednesday’s defeat with a bruised left wrist. The NL leader in home runs with 20, Stanton had gone deep three times in six games before going 0 for 3 and striking out twice Thursday.
Curtis Granderson, who is batting .160 in seven games versus Miami this season, is 3 for 19 against Alvarez with six strikeouts.
These teams have combined for just 26 runs in their last seven meetings at Marlins Park.
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