(Sports Network) – Coming off a tough loss to the Padres last night, the New York Mets can still capture a rare series win in San Diego with a victory this evening in the finale of a three-game set from Petco Park.
New York hasn’t won a series in San Diego since May 16-19, 2002 at Qualcomm Stadium and is only 4-12 at Petco Park since 2007. Overall it owns an 8-18 record since the new stadium opened in ’04.
The Mets were aiming for their second win in a row on Tuesday, but dropped a 6-1 decision after ending a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 triumph in 10 innings in Monday’s series opener. Jonathon Niese suffered his 10th loss (11-10) of the season and gave up three runs and 10 hits in six innings.
“Jon pitched good again,” Mets manager Terry Collins told the club’s website. “A couple runs in the first inning, but you look up and he threw the ball very well. He keeps you in the game.”
Ruben Tejada had two hits and an RBI for the Mets, who are just 4-12 in their previous 16 games and 13-18 since the All-Star break. Angel Pagan went 0-for-3 and saw his hitting streak end at nine games. He batted .366 during the run. New York is 1-4 on a six-game road trip and will return to Citi Field for a weekend series versus the Milwaukee Brewers.
Drawing the start for the Mets tonight will be Dillon Gee. Gee has never faced the Padres and is 5-2 with a 4.76 earned run average in 11 road assignments (10 starts) this season. He did, however, lose at Arizona in Friday’s 4-3 setback and was reached for four runs and five hits over five innings of work. The loss dropped Gee to 10-4 in 22 games, 19 of which are starts, this season and raised his ERA to 4.07.
Gee, a right-hander, is 2-3 in his previous five decisions.
San Diego entered last night’s game having lost three of four contests, and was able to even the series behind a solid performance from starting pitcher Cory Luebke. Luebke held the Mets to a run and three hits through six innings and struck out five batters. Chad Qualls, Luke Gregerson and Erik Hamren each threw a scoreless inning of relief to keep New York off the board.
“We’ve been playing well lately,” Luebke said. “The hitters have been scrappy, making pitchers work. I think we’re showing the team we can be.”
Nick Hundley went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples and an RBI, while Cameron Maybin homered and Orlando Hudson knocked in two runs for the Padres, who won for the eighth time in 13 tries and will host Florida for four games after this series. The Padres also had a 15-4 advantage in hits.
Maybin has hit safely in 24 of his 31 games since the break.
Mat Latos is just 1-3 in his last four decisions (8 starts) and will take the mound Wednesday. He has allowed two runs over seven innings in consecutive starts and did not figure into the decision in Friday’s 5-3 loss at Cincinnati. He struck out five batters and has fanned that many in 10 straight trips to the hill.
Latos, who is 6-11 with a 3.80 ERA in 23 starts this season, is just 3-6 in 12 outings at Petco Park and 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA lifetime against the Mets.
New York and San Diego have split six meetings this season.