Giants hope pop returns against Mets
NEW YORK — The San Francisco Giants hope a fluky victory Monday night will jumpstart a stagnant offense and fuel an unlikely run back into the playoff race. The New York Mets hope the agonizing hard-luck defeat won’t send them back into a familiar funk.
The Giants will look to start a winning streak when they visit the Mets on Tuesday night for the second contest of a four-game series at Citi Field.
The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak by earning a 2-1, 13-inning win Monday, when Andrew McCutchen scored from third base with two outs in the 13th after Brandon Crawford’s pop-up was dropped by Mets shortstop Amed Rosario as he was hit from behind by left fielder Dominic Smith.
Giants right-hander Chris Stratton (8-7, 5.52 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento prior to the game and is scheduled to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz (5-10, 4.60).
The win Monday kept flickering playoff hopes alive for the Giants (62-64), who are seven games behind in the race for the second wild card in the National League. Any chances of moving back into contention rest on a revival of an offense that has produced 11 runs in the last five games and stranded four runners in scoring position in the first 11 innings against the Mets.
“It’s a great feeling,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said afterward. “You’re in extra innings, you’re trying to score any way you can and we got a break. They collided, knocked the ball out and you take it.”
Any playoff hopes for the Mets ended during a June in which they went 5-21. New York (54-70) has been playing better of late and entered Monday with eight wins in its last 12 games and the most runs in the NL (111) since Aug. 1.
But the Mets, who are averaging the fewest runs of any team at home (3.21 runs per game), stranded 10 runners, including two apiece in the 11th and 12th before the collision between Smith, a converted first baseman, and Rosario.
“It’s an easy play for our team and we messed it up, communication-wise,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “We cost ourselves the game tonight with little things.”
Stratton and Matz will be looking to recapture their first-half form Tuesday.
Stratton will be pitching for the Giants for the first time since Aug. 3, when he took the loss after allowing six runs over three innings as the Giants fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3. He is 0-2 with a 14.14 ERA in his last four appearances (three starts) dating back to June 28, a stretch in which his overall ERA rose from 4.14 to 5.52 and he was sent to Sacramento twice.
However, in his most recent Triple-A stint, Stratton went 2-0 in two starts while allowing two runs over 13 innings. He has never faced the Mets.
Matz, who missed the first 15 days of the month because of a flexor pronator strain in his left arm, returned from the disabled list Thursday, when he took the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) over two innings as the Mets fell to the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-6. He is 1-3 with a 13.18 ERA dating back to July 21, a stretch in which his overall ERA has risen from 3.38 to 4.60.
Matz won his lone career start and appearance against the Giants on April 29, 2016, when he tossed six scoreless innings in the Mets’ 13-1 victory.