Arizona (29-22) at New York (26-25)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue May 31, 2005
  • TV: FSAZ, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets hope Kris Benson and the return of Carlos Beltran to the lineup can get them back on track as they begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Shea Stadium.

The Mets have managed to hover around the .500 mark despite their streaky nature over the first two months of the season.

New York countered a four-game losing streak with three straight wins over Florida before losing 6-3 on Sunday in the final game of their series against the Marlins.

First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz hit his seventh home run and Cliff Floyd had two RBIs for New York.

The Mets hope Benson can get them off to a good start against Arizona.

Benson, who began the season on the disabled list with a chest injury, has won three straight decisions to improve to 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts. The right-hander has given up just five earned runs and 12 hits in 19 2-3 innings over his last three outings.

Benson hopes to benefit from the return of Beltran’s bat to the lineup.

New York’s center fielder has not started since May 21 because of a quadriceps injury. Beltran pinch hit against Atlanta on Wednesday and did some light running before Sunday’s game. It was the last step before returning to the lineup Tuesday.

“If he tells me he feels OK he’ll still have our off day (Monday) to rest,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said Sunday. “It will be nice to start him at home.”

Beltran was hitting .300 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 170 at-bats before sitting out to rest his quadriceps.

Tuesday marks the beginning of a seven-game road trip for the Diamondbacks against New York and Philadelphia.

Arizona has dropped three of its last four games, including Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Diamondbacks starter Russ Ortiz lasted just 3 1-3 innings, allowing five runs and eight hits. Chris Snyder provided Arizona’s offensive highlight with a two-run homer in the second inning.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Halsey NYY vs. K. Benson Ari
8-12 Record 10-8
4.61 ERA 4.13
82 K 95
39 BB 49
1.44 WHIP 1.26