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Sat, Jun 15, 2013 - 1:10 PM ET
 

Cubs-Mets Preview

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Nate Schierholtz continues to make a case for remaining in the Chicago Cubs' lineup.

David DeJesus won't be in it for awhile.

Schierholtz looks to continue his hot hitting and help the Cubs win for the sixth time in seven road games against the New York Mets on Saturday.

Schierholtz has appeared in 50 of Chicago's 65 games, starting 43 while splitting time in right field with Scott Hairston.

Lately, Schierholtz's impressive stretch is giving him the edge over Hairston, who is batting .153 on the season.

Schierholtz is 9 for 26 (.346) with two homers, two triples and two doubles during a seven-game hitting streak. He's also homered four times over his last eight starts, matching his career high of nine set in 2011 with San Francisco.

Manager Dale Sveum has moved Schierholtz up to third in the order, dropping Anthony Rizzo to fifth. Schierholtz responded by connecting for a solo homer in the first inning of Friday's 6-3 win in the opener of this three-game series at Citi Field.

"I'm just kind of mixing it up. Right now you could say he's our best hitter," Sveum said.

Schierholtz has a .333 average against the Mets, his highest against any opponent with at least 65 at-bats. He's 9 for 23 (.391) with two homers and two triples over his last eight meetings.

Rizzo has a .405 average in nine games against New York after getting three hits Friday.

DeJesus is headed for the disabled list after injuring his right shoulder when he crashed into the outfield wall trying to make a catch Friday.

Ryan Sweeney, who may replace him in center, is 8 for 18 (.444) in six games versus New York, which has lost nine of 11.

The Cubs (27-38) will send Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.22 ERA) to the mound hoping he can come close to matching his most recent appearance against the Mets. The right-hander tossed 6 2-3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in an 8-2 home victory May 18.

He's making his first appearance in Flushing since June 13, 2008, when he gave up seven runs in five innings of a loss with Texas.

Feldman had one of his worst outings of the season in Monday's 6-2 loss to Cincinnati, yielding five runs and seven hits, including a grand slam, over six innings.

The Mets are scheduled to turn to Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.24) for the second time since skipping a turn in the rotation due to a sore shoulder.

Despite the injury, he's compiled a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts. The left-hander, though, is 0-1 over that stretch since he's been backed by five total runs, while the defense has committed three errors.

Niese was in line for the win Sunday against Miami after allowing three runs - two earned - in 6 2-3 innings, but New York's bullpen failed to hold a one-run lead before the Marlins won 8-4 in 10.

He's 0-2 with a 7.47 ERA in three home starts versus Chicago, losing 7-0 in the most recent July 8. He gave up four runs in the first before serving up a three-run homer to Starlin Castro and leaving after the seventh.

Tagged: Cubs, Mets, Scott Hairston, Scott Feldman, Nate Schierholtz

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