New York (14-12) at Arizona (20-8)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Fri May 2, 2008
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Micah Owings helped the Arizona Diamondbacks with his bat in the team’s most recent victory. Now, he’ll try to get it done from his customary spot on the mound.

Owings looks to maintain his perfect record when the Diamondbacks (20-8) open a three-game home series with the New York Mets on Friday night.

Likely the game’s best hitting pitcher, Owings stroked a pinch-hit, two-run, game-tying homer in Arizona’s 8-7 comeback victory over Houston on Wednesday. It was the fifth home run in 79 career at-bats for Owings, the 2007 Silver Slugger winner who is batting .421 and is 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA on the hill this season.

“I don’t think you’ve seen a guy like this,” Arizona first baseman Conor Jackson said. “I mean, Babe Ruth? That’s really all that comes to mind. It’s pretty impressive.”

The Diamondbacks posted a franchise record 19 wins in April en route to becoming the first team in the majors with 20 victories this season. They expect Owings to be healthy enough to continue his overall success when he faces New York (14-12), which had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 13-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Owings limped around the bases after the homer as he continues to recover from spraining his right ankle while stepping on second base in his most recent start at San Diego on Saturday. The right-hander struggled, giving up five runs and five hits in five innings of Arizona’s 8-7 loss in 13.

He made his only career start against the Mets on May 3, allowing three runs in six innings of a 9-4 home defeat .

On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks rallied from a 6-2 deficit to win their eighth series and improve to an NL-best 11-3 at home. Eric Byrnes drove in the winning run to cap a three-run sixth and Jackson homered in his second straight contest for Arizona.

Jackson is batting .348 and went 5-for-11 with two homers and five RBIs in the Houston series. He’s 4-for-6 in his career against New York’s scheduled starter John Maine (2-2, 3.58).

While the Diamondbacks are playing well at home, they haven’t recently against the Mets at Chase Field. Arizona snapped a 13-game home losing streak to New York with a 3-1 win there on May 6 in the teams’ most recent meeting.

“Those were different teams and different times,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “It’s time to do something about that, right?”

In the loss to the Pirates on Wednesday, the Mets allowed their most runs of the season - nine of which were unearned - to conclude a 3-2 homestand. Ryan Church drove in the only run for New York, which was held to a season-low two hits while committing a season-high three errors.

“That was ugly,” Mets closer Billy Wagner told the team’s official Web site. “We play like that out there against (Arizona), and it can get a whole lot uglier real fast. We’ve got to show up.”

Shortstop Jose Reyes, who went 0-for-4 Wednesday after going 4-for-7 in his previous two contests, hit .400 (12-for-30) against Arizona in 2007 as the Mets won the season series 4-3.

Maine allowed two runs and three hits while striking out seven in five innings of New York’s 4-3 win over Atlanta on Saturday for his second victory in three starts. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA against the Diamondbacks last season in his only career starts against them.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Maine Mia vs. M. Owings Mia
10-8 Record 6-9
4.18 ERA 5.93
122 K 87
67 BB 41
1.35 WHIP 1.39


Friday, May 2