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Mets At Pirates: Capuano Against Correia

(Sports Network) – Surprise early-season standout Kevin Correia can get the Pittsburgh Pirates back to .500 today when they host the New York Mets in game three of a four-game set at PNC Park.

The Mets entered Saturday’s game with a chance to get back to .500, but were denied when Andrew McCutchen stroked a two-run double and James McDonald tossed six innings in the Pirates’ 3-2 win.

McDonald (4-4) gave up two runs, eight hits and three walks for the Pirates, who rebounded from an 8-1 loss in the opener and are 7-4 in their last 11 contests. Jose Tabata is riding a five-game hitting streak.

R.A. Dickey (3-7) went the distance for New York, allowing three runs on eight hits over eight frames. Jose Reyes had two hits and leads the majors with 32 multi-hit games this season. He has reached base safely in 52 of his 61 games this season and leads the majors with a .341 average, 91 hits and 11 triples.

The Mets lost for just the third time in their last nine games.

New York is fourth in the National League’s East Division and 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies, while the Pirates are fourth in the NL Central and 5 1/2 back of first-place St. Louis.

Correia, who entered the season with a 36-43 record in the big leagues, was 5-4 after a 9-6 loss at Milwaukee on May 15, but has since bounced back with a four-start unbeaten run.

He won consecutive decisions over Detroit, the Chicago Cubs and the Mets through June 1, then pitched five innings in the Pirates’ 8-5 win against Arizona in his last start on June 7.

Against New York, the 30-year-old Californian allowed six hits and two runs across six innings in upping his career mark against the Mets to 2-3 in 11 games — five starts.

Pittsburgh is 9-5 in the 14 games he’s pitched.

For New York, 32-year-old lefty Chris Capuano continues his comeback with his 14th appearance of the season and 12th start.

The Massachusetts native was an 18-game winner with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005, then won 11 and five games the following two years before not pitching at all in the big leagues in 2008 and 2009.

He returned to make 24 appearances with the Brewers in 2010, then signed with the Mets as a free agent on Jan. 3, 2011.

Capuano took the loss in the June 1 matchup with Correia and the Pirates after allowing eight hits and five runs in six innings. He rebounded for a 2-1 win at Milwaukee on June 7, giving up just six hits and a run in six innings. Mets starters have posted a 2.70 ERA over their last 16 games — the lowest in the majors over that period.

The Mets and Pirates split a four-game set in Flushing, N.Y. from May 30-June 2, but New York is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings overall.