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Mets Go For Sweep Of Pirates Today

(Sports Network) - Left-handed ace Johan Santana can pitch the New York Mets to a road sweep today when they visit PNC Park for the third and final game of a weekend series with the host Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Mets won Saturday's second game, 5-1, when David Wright hit a three-run homer to back five strong innings by Jon Niese.

Niese (8-5) gave up one run on five hits and a walk, and struck out five. The game was delayed by rain in the top of the sixth before being called final.

The win gave the Mets their first road series victory against a National League team this season.

James McDonald (2-3) allowed five runs on six hits and five walks in five innings to take the loss for the Pirates, who have dropped five in a row and 12 of 13.

Andrew McCutchen doubled twice and scored Pittsburgh's lone run.

Santana, in his third season with the Mets after eight campaigns with the Minnesota Twins, reached double-digit victories for the eighth time with a 4-0 blanking of the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 12 at Citi Field.

The win was the 132nd of his career against only 67 losses.

He's pitched once since and was beaten, 4-3, at Houston on Aug. 17 after allowing nine hits and four runs in eight innings.

Santana is 2-1 in five career matchups -- four starts -- against the Pirates, who've managed just 18 hits and six runs against him in 28 2/3 innings.

The 31-year-old is 3-4 in 14 road starts in 2010 with a 2.88 earned run average.

Texas-born lefty Zach Duke goes for the Pirates with a chance to end a drought that's seen him go without a win since July 27.

The 27-year-old defeated Colorado, 4-2, at Coors Field to improve to 5-9 on the season, but is 0-3 in four starts since. Pittsburgh has lost all four of those games while scoring just four runs.

Duke last pitched Aug. 17 against Florida and took a 6-0 defeat after allowing nine hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

He is 3-1 in six career starts against New York.

The Mets won four of their seven meetings with the Bucs a year ago.