(Sports Network) - Lefty Nate Robertson looks for a second straight defeat of the New York Mets when the Florida Marlins visit Citi Field today for the middle test of a three-game weekend series with their National League East Division rivals.
New York leapfrogged from fourth to third in the division standings in Friday's opener, when R.A. Dickey threw into the seventh inning and added two hits, a run scored and an RBI at the plate in 4-3 victory over the Marlins.
The Mets are now a half-game ahead of the Marlins in the NL East race and trail first-place Atlanta by four games.
Dickey (3-0) threw a solid 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks to earn the win.
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez nearly blew it in the ninth, putting two on with two outs before getting Hanley Ramirez to bounce out to third baseman David Wright, whose one-hop toss from foul territory beat Ramirez to first to end the game.
Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur each went 2-for-4 and drove in a run for New York, which was coming off a 2-4 road trip.
Anibal Sanchez (5-3) had his four-start win streak snapped, as the Florida right-hander yielded four runs on nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 frames.
Robertson, who pitched in the American League from 2003-09, returned to the NL this season with the Marlins - who drafted him in 1999 - and downed the Mets in his eighth start of the year back on May 15 in Miami. In that game, he allowed seven hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in recording a 7-5 victory that lifted him to 2-0 with a 2.45 earned run average in three career matchups with the Mets.
In three starts since that victory, Robertson is 0-1 with a pair of no- decisions.
Robertson is 3-2 with a 3.95 ERA in five road starts in 2010.
New York goes with lefty Jon Niese, who makes his first start since lasting just two innings in a 10-8 loss to the Marlins on May 16. The 23-year-old went on the 15-day disabled list the following day with a mild hamstring strain in his right leg.
Prior to the loss, Niese had recorded a win and a loss in seven starts this season along with a 4.58 earned run average in 39 1/3 innings. He also faced Florida in his initial start of the season and dropped a 3-1 verdict on April 8 after giving up eight hits and three runs in six innings.
Niese's lone win of the season came April 30 at Philadelphia. The Mets are 4-4 in games he's pitched.
The Mets snapped a six-game losing streak in this series with Friday's triumph. Florida took two of three matchups between these teams in New York from April 6-8 and has gone 8-5 at Citi Field since the stadium opened at the start of the 2009 season.