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Despaigne Making First Start Of Season At Mets

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NEW YORK (Gracenote) — Offense does not appear to be a problem for the New York Mets, who are scoring in bunches while trying to cover up some of the holes on the pitching staff.

The Mets will try to make it three straight wins and clinch a series victory when they host the Miami Marlins in the second of a three-game series on Saturday.

New York pushed across at least five runs in each of the last eight games but the pitching staff allowed at least five in seven of those contests, putting the team at a respectable 5-3 in that span.

The Mets fell behind 7-1 in the fourth inning on Friday as starter Rafael Montero struggled, but the offense made up the deficit with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and five in the seventh – highlighted by T.J. Rivera’s two-run double – and went on to grab an 8-7 win.

New York will try to get a better effort on Saturday out of righty Robert Gsellman, who opposes Miami’s Odrisamer Despaigne. The Marlins are losers of eight of their last 10 and the pitching staff is surrendering an average of 5.5 runs in that span.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), WPIX (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Odrisamer Despaigne (2016: 0-2, 5.93 ERA) vs. Mets RH Robert Gsellman (1-2, 6.75)

Despaigne is making his return to the majors and a starting rotation after making all 19 of his appearances – three with Miami and 16 with the Baltimore Orioles – out of the bullpen last season. The Cuba native came up as a starter with the San Diego Padres and made all five of his appearances in the minors this season in that role, going 0-1 with a 2.49 ERA in five turns. Despaigne made two career appearances – one start – against the Mets, allowing a total of four runs in nine innings.

Gsellman was bailed out by the offense and managed to record his first win of the season on Monday at Atlanta despite allowing five runs in as many innings without notching a strikeout. The 23-year-old has been knocked around for 11 runs – 10 earned – and 16 hits in nine innings over his last two turns. Gsellman made his first two starts of the season against Miami and went 0-1 while surrendering a total of 11 runs – seven earned – and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (arm fatigue) was placed on the 10-day DL to make room for Despaigne, but Chen is expected to make his next start.

2. New York placed C Travis d’Arnaud (bruised right wrist) on the 10-day DL.

3. Miami 3B Martin Prado is 8-for-19 with four runs scored in his last four games.

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