Arizona (35-81) at New York (54-59)

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  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Aug 13, 2004
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Kris Benson was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates to help improve the New York Mets’ rotation. So far the results have been mixed.

Benson will try again to get his first win with the Mets in the opener of a three-game series against the woeful Arizona Diamondbacks at Shea Stadium.

Benson pitched brilliantly on Saturday, but did not get a decision after limiting St. Louis to one run and four hits in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals. It was a far better outing than his Mets debut on July 31, when he was roughed up for seven runs and seven hits in five innings of an 8-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

He’ll try to follow up on the stellar outing by Victor Zambrano—another trade deadline acquisition—in Thursday’s 2-1 win against the Houston Astros. Zambrano won his second straight start since the Mets acquired him from Tampa Bay on July 30, allowing an unearned run in seven innings.

The Astros’ only hits off Zambrano were Jose Vizcaino’s infield single in the fifth, and Lance Berkman single in the sixth.

Zambrano improved to 12-1 against NL teams in his career, and 11-7 overall this season. Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson has helped make small changes to his motion.

“We knew if we could get him throwing strikes, he’d be tough to beat,” manager Art Howe said.

Howe hopes Benson can throw strikes against the major league-worst Diamondbacks, who are coming off a 7-5 loss to Montreal on Thursday. It was Arizona’s seven straight loss after consecutive three-game sweeps by the Braves and Montreal Expos.

The Diamondbacks have been outscored 50-21 during their skid.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Fossum BAL vs. K. Benson ARI
4-15 Record 12-12
6.65 ERA 4.31
117 K 134
63 BB 61
1.65 WHIP 1.31