The New York Mets are suddenly on a roll, and they’re hoping seven games against lackluster NL West teams will give them even more momentum.
The Mets try to build on an encouraging homestand when they open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Monday at AT&T Park.
The Mets (28-27) wrapped up a 5-2 homestand Sunday night with a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Those seven games came on the heels of a 3-6 road trip that provoked questions about manager Willie Randolph’s job security, and last Monday’s much-publicized meeting between the manager and ownership.
But the Mets are no doubt feeling much better about themselves after scoring 34 runs over the last six games. They took three of four games from the Dodgers after winning two of three against Florida, claiming back-to-back series wins for the first time since mid-April.
“It’s all about having fun,” said New York ace Johan Santana, who earned his 100th win Sunday. “You have to remember this is a game and you have to have fun.”
New York will now try to have fun on the road against struggling opponents, with three games in San Francisco and four at San Diego. The Giants (24-33) and Padres are a combined 51-68.
“We have a long way to go,” Randolph warned.
Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church both hit two-run homers Sunday to back Santana. Church, who started for the first time since May 20 after nursing his second concussion of the year, also doubled and singled.
“It’s great getting back out there with the guys,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better the first day back.”
Jose Reyes went 2-for-5 with a double and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. The Mets shortstop and has reached base safely in 32 straight games - a record for a Mets leadoff man.
The Giants beat the Padres 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday, avoiding a three-game sweep and ending a seven-game home losing streak - their longest in the nine-year history of AT&T Park.
“I was just happy to get the first hit under my belt coming off the bench,” Lewis said. “I haven’t had one of these. I was hoping for a walkoff. It didn’t happen that way.”
The Giants are hoping left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (3-3, 4.26 ERA) can help them build on the victory.
Sanchez is coming off his first win since April 25, an 11-3 victory at Arizona on Wednesday in which he allowed two runs in six innings. He has gone at least six innings in his last three starts, giving up two runs in each.
“I was comfortable out there,” Sanchez said Wednesday. “I had a lot of runs behind me. I can go out there and not worry and do my best.”
Sanchez made two relief appearances against the Mets in 2006, throwing 1 2-3 scoreless innings and earning one win.
This year’s Mets, though, are 13-6 when the opposing starter is left-handed.
New York counters with a southpaw of its own in Oliver Perez (4-3, 4.83), who gave up five runs and three homers in six innings Wednesday before the Mets came back to defeat the Marlins 7-6 in 12 innings. Perez has been inconsistent this season, yielding at least five runs in five of his 11 starts, and three or fewer five other times.
Perez has struggled against the Giants, going 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in eight career starts against them.