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Mets At Giants: New York Begins Last Series Before All-Star Break

(Sports Network) - The Mets are set to face some pretty talented arms over their next two series. Not having Jose Reyes for the near future won't help make that stretch any easier.

New York begins a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants and All- Star Ryan Vogelsong tonight at AT&T Park looking to bounce back from a shutout loss on Thursday.

Beginning with yesterday's clash with Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, the Mets could potentially face seven straight All-Star pitchers. The Giants are slated to throw their three All-Star arms in Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in this series and New York opens the second half against a Phillies club that could line up its three Mid-Summer Classic selections in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

The Mets kicked off this tough stretch without Reyes, who landed on the disabled list prior to Thursday's game with a strained left hamstring. The All-Star shortstop hasn't played since suffering the injury running to first base last Saturday and leads the majors with a .354 batting average.

"I know we have some rough schedule coming up with the Giants, the Phillies, and I want to be there," Reyes told New York's website. "At the same time, I'm hurt. I just try to get better, try to get back on the field as soon as possible."

New York had won its first four games without Reyes, but was shut down by Kershaw and the Dodgers in Thursday's 6-0 loss. Dillon Gee tried to keep pace, but unraveled during Los Angeles' five-run sixth inning. Gee was charged with six runs -- five earned -- over 5 2/3 innings of work.

The Mets had won eight of 11 before the loss and must now deal with Vogelsong, who is 6-1 with a 2.13 earned run average in 15 games this season, his first in the majors since 2006.

The 33-year-old hasn't lost since May 26, winning his last three decisions, but was denied a third straight victory on Sunday after getting a no-decision in Detroit. Vogelsong allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings.

The righty is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in four career games versus the Mets, including two starts. He faced them on May 3, but was hit for five runs over four innings of a no-decision.

Vogelsong got his chance in the rotation due to an early-season injury to Barry Zito, who has won three straight starts since returning from a strained foot. He pitched the first-place Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Padres on Thursday, allowing just one run on four hits over eight innings.

"He's throwing strikes," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He's throwing any pitch at any time. You see him out there. He can't wait to get the ball and he's pitching with a lot of confidence."

Eli Whiteside homered and Pat Burrell knocked in the other run for the Giants, who won their 25th one-run game this season and hold a two-game edge over the Diamondbacks for the top spot in the National League West.

Pablo Sandoval extended his hitting streak to a career-best 18 straight games as San Francisco has now countered a three-game slide by winning two straight. That helped the club reach 50 wins before the All-Star break for the first time since 2003.

Mets starter R.A. Dickey will hope to make win No. 51 a much tougher task as he is slated to start tonight despite leaving his last start after only 85 pitches due to tightness in his left glute.

The right-handed knuckler got a no-decision in that Sunday start versus the Yankees, giving up a run on two hits and two walks over five innings of his club's eventual 3-2 win. The Mets have won each of Dickey's last three starts and the 36-year-old is 1-0 in his last four outings.

Dickey is 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 18 games this season and faced Vogelsong on May 3. He was just as ineffective, allowing six runs over six innings of a no- decision, and is 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two games versus the Giants.

San Francisco took two of three at New York in early May and has won six of the past eight in this series.