Mets-Giants Preview

Mike Pelfrey ended his road woes his last time out. Matt Cain

uncharacteristically struggled in his previous outing.

The right-handers will square off Sunday night when the San

Francisco Giants host the New York Mets in the majors’ final game

before the All-Star break.

Pelfrey (5-7, 4.64 ERA) has struggled all year on the road, but

gave up five hits over six innings Tuesday to earn a 6-0 victory

over the Dodgers. He was 0-4 with a 5.16 ERA in his previous five

road outings, and didn’t allow a homer for the second time in 13

overall starts.

The six-year veteran is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA in five career

outings against the Giants (51-40), including a 5-2 home victory

May 5 in which he gave up two runs over 7 2-3 innings.

Pelfrey has enjoyed success against Aaron Rowand (.235), Pablo

Sandoval (2 for 10), Nate Schierholtz (0 for 9) and Miguel Tejada

(1 for 9). Cody Ross is a .304 hitter against Pelfrey, but he has

been limited to pinch-hitting duties the past five games due to a

mild left hamstring strain.

Cain (7-5, 3.22) will try to recover from his outing Tuesday,

yielding five runs over seven innings in a 5-3 loss to

light-hitting San Diego.

His 20-inning scoreless streak came to an end in that game, and

he lost for the first time since May 29 after going 4-0 with a 1.65

ERA over his previous six outings.

Cain is 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA in eight career starts against New

York (46-44). Fellow All-Star Carlos Beltran is 6 for 13 against

him while Jason Bay is 4 for 7 with three walks.

The starting pitching has been excellent in this series. Both

the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong and the Mets’ R.A. Dickey allowed two

runs in seven innings Friday, and neither received a decision in a

5-2 win for New York.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum outpitched Chris

Capuano in Saturday’s 3-1 victory for the Giants as both went six

innings. Lincecum allowed one run and Capuano two.

San Francisco is assured of sole possession of first place in

the NL West at the All-Star break for the first time since 2003.

The Giants lead Arizona by two games.

“It’s encouraging,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We still have one

game before the break, but it’s nice to try to wrap things up on a

good note.”

Schierholtz has three homers and six RBIs on this homestand.

He’s hitting .383 over his last 13 games.

New York missed a chance to go a season-high four games over

.500. The Mets are 4-2 on this trip, and their 27-22 mark away from

Citi Field is the NL’s second-best.

Beltran has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, batting .362

with three homers and 14 RBIs in that span. Angel Pagan is hitting

.381 in his last nine road games.