Maine looks to remained undefeated and help his team take its three-game series from the San Francisco Giants when they meet in the finale on Wednesday.
New York (20-12) is an impressive 13-5 away from home this season, including a 4-1 win over the Giants on Tuesday, and has dropped only one road series in 2007. The Mets’ top three batters in the order Tuesday - Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran - combined to go 5-for-13 with three RBIs in the victory.
Reyes went 2-for-5 with a double and a triple, and is batting .379 during his 13-game hitting streak.
Maine (5-0, 1.37 ERA) is looking to become the NL’s first pitcher to six victories, which would also match his career high set last season. The right-hander, who turned 26 on Tuesday, has the best ERA in the majors.
He has won all four of his road starts, allowing only three earned runs through 27 innings while holding opponents to a .138 batting average. On Friday at Arizona, he held the Diamondbacks to one run over six innings while striking out seven in a 5-3 victory.
“He proved a lot to me tonight,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “He didn’t have his best stuff, but good pitchers learn to adjust and improvise a little bit.”
Maine, April’s NL pitcher of the month, is facing San Francisco (17-15) for the first time. He may not have to square off against Barry Bonds, as the slugger could sit out this day game after a night game.
Bonds moved within 10 homers of Hank Aaron’s all-time record of 755 on Tuesday, connecting off New York’s Tom Glavine for his 11th of the season. That was the only offense the Giants could muster, though, as they dropped to 7-3 in games when Bonds goes deep.
“Our focus is winning ballgames,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, whose team was held to one run for the first time in 16 games. “They go hand in hand, his home runs and winning ballgames.”
Matt Morris (4-1, 3.20) goes for his fifth win in just his seventh start of the season when he takes the mound for San Francisco. The right-hander didn’t reach five wins until his 15th start of 2006.
He has been tough to beat in 2007, holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs in all but one of his outings. Morris allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings of a 6-2 win over Philadelphia on Friday.
He is an impressive 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in three home starts and will look to continue that success against the Mets, against whom he is 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 career outings.
However, Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca is 7-for-11 with a double versus Morris.
San Francisco right fielder Randy Winn is riding a 10-game hitting streak, batting .372 during that span, and has at least one hit in his last six meetings with New York.