The New York Mets have matched their longest winning streak of the season, and they have to like their chances of keeping that run going.
Dillon Gee will try to continue his success against the San Diego Padres’ historically inept offense on Saturday night as the Mets go for their first five-game winning streak in 14 months.
New York (46-50) has won nine of 11 games, a stretch that includes a pair of four-game runs that has it at least thinking of crawling back into contention in the NL East. The Mets are third in the division, six games back of second-place Washington, which trails Atlanta by one.
Continuing that recent success could have New York seeking help ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
"I think we have flexibility," general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB’s official website. "It depends on where we are and how we’re performing.
"Sometimes you’ve got to believe, right? This is a time."
For now, they’ll settle for winning five straight games for the first time since May 26-30, 2013.
Travis d’Arnaud got them closer to that mark in the opener of this 10-game trip Friday, when his third hit went for a go-ahead single in the ninth of a 5-4 win at San Diego (41-55).
While d’Arnaud is batting .333 with eight RBIs in his last nine games, New York’s pitchers have led the way. The starters have a 2.25 ERA in that span, while the bullpen has tossed 14 1-3 scoreless innings in the last six after throwing four Friday.
Gee (4-1, 2.56 ERA) owns a 1.35 ERA while winning two of three career starts against the Padres.
He could be in for another strong performance against a San Diego team hitting .214, an average that, were it to remain there at the end of the season, would match the 1968 New York Yankees for the worst in the last 100 years.
Gee missed two months with a strained right lat, but came back strong July 9. The right-hander allowed one run in seven innings of a 4-1 win over Atlanta.
The Padres have dropped eight of 10, including three in a row while hitting .168 with 25 strikeouts. However, they may have found some solace in Friday’s four-run fifth off Bartolo Colon that ended a 25-inning scoreless streak.
Despite San Diego’s impotent offense, Alexi Amarista is giving it some hope. He’s hitting .357 in his last 13 games after collecting three singles with an RBI in the series opener.
Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85) is well aware of the Padres’ shortcomings at the plate, as he’s been backed by five total runs over his last eight starts. He’s 1-6 despite a 2.83 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 54 innings over that stretch, and that may have been reason enough for him to be selected for his first All-Star game Tuesday.
The right-hander, however, was inactive for the Midsummer Classic since he last took the mound in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The offense let him down again, mustering four hits while he yielded one run with nine strikeouts in seven innings.
Ross allowed one run in seven innings but didn’t factor in the decision of a 4-1 loss to the Mets at Petco Park on Aug. 15.
While New York is contemplating acquiring help at the deadline, San Diego has already started an exodus after sending closer Huston Street and prospect Trevor Gott to the Los Angeles Angels for minor leaguers Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Jose Rondon and Elliot Morris on Friday.