Los Angeles (43-52) at New York (49-46)

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  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Jul 22, 2005
  • TV: FSN2, WPIX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Victor Zambrano will try to help the New York Mets extend their winning streak to five games as they open a three-game series with the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zambrano’s 4-8 record this season doesn’t do justice to just how effective he’s been pitching the last two months.

In his last 10 starts, Zambrano is pitching to a 2.38 ERA, allowing more than two earned runs just twice in that span. However, he has just two wins during that stretch due to lack of run support. The Mets have scored two runs or fewer seven times in Zambrano’s last 10 outings, and were blanked 3-0 by Atlanta in his last outing on Saturday.

“Every game for me is very important,” Zambrano said. “I always go back there to give the opportunity to the team to win the game.”

He’s hoping the offense the Mets flashed Thursday will carry into Friday.

David Wright singled and doubled during a seven-run sixth inning as the Mets breezed to a 12-0 win over San Diego, completing a three-game sweep of the NL West-leading Padres.

The victory moved New York (49-46) three games above .500 for the first time since June 8. New York moved past Philadelphia into third place in the NL East, inching a bit closer to the two teams at the top in the division—Washington and Atlanta.

The Mets are 5-2 on a 10-game homestand.

“We’ve got to make a statement in the division, and we’re in a position where we can’t wait any longer,” New York manager Willie Randolph said. “We can still made some serious hay in the division.”

“Four (consecutive wins) is nice, but we’ve got to be able to do better than that.”

Los Angeles took two of three from Philadelphia, including Thursday’s 1-0 win.

Odalis Perez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Jeff Kent drove in the only run in the first for the Dodgers, who have won two straight since losing eight of nine.

“It’s a great game for us to win,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Jeff Weaver will start for the Dodgers on Friday. He has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last seven starts, but has just one victory to show for it.

He allowed one run and five hits over seven innings against San Francisco on Sunday, but the Dodgers managed only one run while he was in the game, losing 5-1 after he left.

“My job is to go out there to keep us close,” Weaver said. “I just wish there were more wins to go along with it.”

Ex-Met Jason Phillips, who is nursing a sore left leg, said he expects to be able to catch Weaver on Friday night. It will be his first trip back to Shea Stadium since the Mets dealt him to Los Angeles for left-hander Kaz ishii at the end of spring training.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAD vs. V. Zambrano NYY
14-11 Record 7-12
4.22 ERA 4.17
157 K 112
43 BB 77
1.17 WHIP 1.48