Wright tries to continue his torrid surge as the New York Mets attempt to climb above .500 and continue their series against the Nationals on Wednesday at Shea Stadium.
Wright had gone straight 19 games without a home run against the Nationals (4-10) before Tuesday, but he still carried an 11-game hitting streak versus them into the game.
New York’s third baseman had five RBIs in the series-opening 6-0 win, finishing 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the first inning off Odalis Perez before adding two doubles. He’s hitting .337 lifetime against Washington, and is 4-for-9 against Wednesday’s starter, Matt Chico.
“He is great,” Perez said of Wright, who has homered in three straight games and is 5-for-11 with eight RBIs in that span. “If you leave it over the plate, he’s going to hit it. Same as Jose Reyes. They have great, talented young players.”
Reyes had four hits and was a homer shy of the cycle in his first game after missing two contests due to a hamstring strain. Despite a home run from Wright in each game, the Mets (6-6) lost both times without Reyes.
With a homer Wednesday, Wright will match the longest home run streak of his career, set last June 7-10.
“We started off real slow in terms of getting that big hit,” Wright said Tuesday. “Today we got a couple. I think that’s really contagious.”
Mets starter John Maine certainly hopes so. Maine (0-1, 4.50 ERA) is still seeking his first win after struggling in his first outing and watching the bullpen blow a lead in his second.
The right-hander walked five in six innings last Thursday—giving him eight in 10 innings—but he still limited Philadelphia to just one run. After Aaron Heilman allowed two runs in the eighth inning, the Mets eventually won 4-3 in 12 innings.
Maine has been erratic in his career against the Nationals, going 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA. He won his first two starts against them last year, pitching 12 shutout innings, but gave up eight runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings in his most recent start in the series last Sept. 18.
He’ll face Chico (0-2, 3.72), who was 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA in four starts against the Mets as a rookie in 2007, never lasting more than 5 1-3 innings.
Chico was a tough-luck loser in his last outing. He allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings against Atlanta, but was outpitched by the Braves’ Tim Hudson, who threw eight shutout innings in Atlanta’s 3-0 win.
“(Chico) was nasty tonight,” Braves outfielder Matt Diaz said. “We feel Tim Hudson right now is the best pitcher in baseball and he matched him pitch for pitch.”
Washington, which stranded nine runners Tuesday, has been shut out three times in its last eight games and is last in the majors with a .232 average. The Nationals have lost 10 of their last 11 after a 3-0 start.