Minnesota (40-32) at New York (41-31)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 48° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Jun 25, 2010
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In tight division races, the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets are both coming off inopportune losses.

However, the clubs appear to be headed in opposite directions as they open a three-game series at Citi Field on Friday.

New York (41-31) has been on a tear in the last three weeks, winning 14 of 18, but missed an opportunity to claim sole possession of first place in the NL East after losing 6-5 to Detroit on Thursday.

The loss kept the Mets one-half game behind Atlanta.

While they failed to capitalize, they can feel positive about almost rallying back from a 6-1 deficit. New York scored three runs in the bottom of the first, and Chris Carter added an RBI single in the seventh. The Mets loaded the bases later in the inning, but David Wright(notes) and Ike Davis(notes) were retired to end the threat.

Wright also struck out to end the game, but the third baseman did drive in a run and had two hits, improving his average over the last 18 games to .366. He’s driven in 21 runs during that stretch.

There weren’t many positives the Twins (40-32) could take away from a 5-0 loss to the Brewers on Thursday. Minnesota has lost five of seven and was swept in Milwaukee, allowing second-place Detroit to move within one-half game of the AL Central lead.

The Twins, who have occupied first place since April 11, had five hits Thursday, not recording their first hit until the sixth inning.

“I didn’t like our energy today,” Justin Morneau(notes), who had two of the hits and is batting .478 over the last five games, told the Twins’ official website. “We got down early and we didn’t show much of a fight.”

Minnesota might not find it any easier to hit off Mike Pelfrey(notes) (9-2, 2.69 ERA), who has been outstanding for the Mets this season.

Pelfrey had a five-decision winning streak snapped Saturday after giving up five runs and issuing a pair of two-run homers over seven innings of a 5-3 loss to the Yankees.

“He’s still a young pitcher who, over the course of a season and in his career, will hit small bumps,” manager Jerry Manuel told the Mets’ official website. “He just has to look back on them and get better.”

The right-hander is making his first start against Minnesota. He is 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three interleague starts.

To snap their losing streak, the Twins will need Kevin Slowey(notes) (7-4, 4.58) to bounce back from the worst start of his career.

The right-hander gave up seven runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings Saturday, though Minnesota rallied to beat Philadelphia 13-10 in 11 innings. In his previous start against Atlanta on June 13, he yielded six runs in 4 2-3 innings.

Slowey, making his first start against the Mets, is 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA in three interleague starts this season.

The Twins won two of three against the Mets at Shea Stadium in 2007, the most recent meeting between these teams.

“Every team goes through struggles during the year,” Morneau said. “The good teams come out of it quicker than the bad teams. We need to prove we’re a good team by going into New York and having a good series.”

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Starting Pitchers

K. Slowey Phi vs. M. Pelfrey Min
13-6 Record 15-9
4.45 ERA 3.66
116 K 113
29 BB 68
1.29 WHIP 1.38


Friday, Jun 25