New York (22-19) at Boston (25-17)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat May 23, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets overcame more troublesome fielding to end a season-high four-game losing streak in Friday night’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox.

They’ll now attempt to beat Boston ace Josh Beckett(notes) for only the third time in 14 tries Saturday night when the teams play the middle game of their interleague set at Fenway Park.

The Mets (22-19) are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball with 35 errors, and David Wright(notes) has been the biggest culprit with seven after committing 16 all last season.

The third baseman was responsible for one of New York’s three errors Friday, but the club overcame them behind another strong start from ace Johan Santana(notes) to beat the Red Sox 5-3.

Wright is 23 for 46 with 14 RBIs during a 13-game hitting streak.

He’ll try to help the Mets win consecutive games in Boston (25-17) for the first time since June 5-6, 1998, during the second season of interleague play. However, this time they’ll have to contend with Beckett (4-2, 5.85 ERA), whom Wright is 1 for 15 against.

The right-hander is 6-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets - all but one outing coming with NL East rival Florida. He hasn’t lost to them since pitching for the Marlins on April 15, 2005, and is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts since. He last faced them at New York on June 28, 2006, leading the Red Sox to a 10-2 win.

Beckett has been solid of late, going 2-0 with a 3.79 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 19 innings over his last three starts. He’ll attempt to help Boston win for the fourth time in five games.

Beckett labored through a season-high 120 pitches over seven innings last Saturday, yielding three runs and four hits while striking out five, walking three and hitting another batter in a 5-3 win at Seattle.

“I thought he did a good job,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the team’s official Web site. “They made him work real hard.”

The Mets will turn to Mike Pelfrey(notes) (4-1, 4.61), who is looking to rebound from his first loss of the season.

The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, but committed three balks that led to both scores while the offense managed just five hits in a 2-0 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. The defeat halted his winning streak at four consecutive decisions over six starts, during which he posted a 4.89 ERA.

“It seemed like I almost had the yips,” Pelfrey said of his balks. “It was like I was fighting myself to come set because my mind kept telling me to pick the guy off. I went back and watched replays and I balked.”

Pelfrey, who has never faced Boston, has won his only two interleague starts with both coming on the road, but he’s given up 10 runs and 16 hits in 11 innings in those contests.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Pelfrey Min vs. J. Beckett LAD
10-12 Record 17-6
5.03 ERA 3.86
107 K 199
66 BB 55
1.51 WHIP 1.19


Saturday, May 23