Yankees-Mets Preview

Two weeks, ago, the New York Yankees began a 10-game winning

streak with a three-game sweep of the New York Mets. After

back-to-back losses, they’ll be looking to begin a new run against

their rival.

The Yankees bring their potent lineup to Citi Field on Friday

night to face a Mets team that’s on a streak of stellar

pitching.

The Yankees swept the Mets from June 8-10 in a Subway Series

marked by strong pitching and solid hitting by the team from the

Bronx.

Robinson Cano and Russell Martin each homered twice in the set

as the Yankees went deep eight times in the three games. Yankees

starters Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte – who takes

the mound Friday – posted a 1.86 ERA.

The Yankees (41-27) have won seven of eight against the Mets

(38-32).

“Citi Field’s going to be rocking this weekend,” Yankees first

baseman Mark Teixeira told the team’s official website. “A very

good atmosphere, very good team.”

After sweeping the Mets, the Yankees won their next seven before

dropping the last two games against Atlanta this week, falling 10-5

in the series finale Wednesday.

The Yankees hit four homers, with Cano continuing his onslaught

with his third in four games, but the club gave up five.

The Yankees’ season-long problems with runners in scoring

position continued. After going 2 for 11 in those situations

Tuesday, they put runners on second or third four times Wednesday

and got one hit.

The Yankees are batting .218 with RISP, among the lowest in the

major leagues.

“We’re a club that’s going to score most of our runs by hitting

home runs,” manager Joe Girardi said. “But I believe eventually

it’s going to turn around.”

Pettitte (3-2, 2.77 ERA) will try to help the Yankees avoid

losing three in a row for the first time since May 19-21. The

left-hander gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-3, 14-inning

win at Washington on Saturday and has a 1.77 ERA in his last three

outings.

Pettitte is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA against the Mets. He gave up

three runs – two earned – in six innings of a 5-4 victory June

10.

Jonathon Niese (4-3, 3.82) opposed Pettitte on June 10 and

allowed two unearned runs in seven innings.

He’ll look to bounce back Friday after giving up four runs and a

three-run homer in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on

Saturday. The defeat was Niese’s first in six home starts this

season.

Since that so-so effort by the left-hander, the Mets have

embarked on a run of strong pitching outings at Citi Field, posting

a 1.25 ERA in going 3-1 in their last four there.

The Mets swept three games from Baltimore to start the week,

shutting out the Orioles in the first two. Dillon Gee gave up two

runs in 7 1-3 innings to earn a 4-3 victory in the finale

Wednesday.

“It’s tough to follow those guys,” said Gee, referring to the

starts of R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana in the opening two games of

the series. “It’s unbelievable what they’ve been doing.”

Mets starting pitchers have a 2.98 ERA at home and have lasted

at least six innings in 12 straight games there.

“I like our rotation a lot,” manager Terry Collins said. “If

they keep getting up this deep into games. … I think we’re going

to be in good shape.”