Miami (60-75) at New York (65-69)

  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Thu Sep 1, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets closed August on a surge they’d like to keep going into the final month of their 50th season.

Looking to take a step closer toward .500, the Mets wrap up a five-game series with the Florida Marlins on Thursday night at Citi Field.

New York (65-69) bounced back from Tuesday’s shutout loss by rallying for a 3-2 win Wednesday. The Mets are hitting .292 and the pitching staff has posted a 2.17 ERA during a 5-1 stretch that began with wins over NL East contenders Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Lucas Duda(notes) had a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning Wednesday, and beleaguered Jason Bay(notes) snapped an 0-for-17 slump with an infield single in the second and finished with three hits.

“That relaxed me, and I went from there,” said Bay, who raised his average against the Marlins this season 76 points - to .219.

Bay is winding down his second straight season without much of a power stroke for New York. A four-time 30-home-run hitter, Bay has 15 in 197 games since joining the Mets, and missed nearly half of last season with a concussion and the first three weeks this year due to a rib injury.

After batting .259 a year ago, Bay is hitting .234 this season, but .267 at home.

Jose Lopez(notes) had a two-run single to provide Wednesday’s only offense for the Marlins (60-75), who have dropped 19 of 24. Though Chris Volstad(notes) had a quality start, allowing three runs in 6 1-3 innings, manager Jack McKeon wasn’t happy.

“Big deal. I want quality wins. I don’t want quality starts, I want quality wins,” McKeon said.

With 11-game winner Jonathon Niese(notes) on the disabled list due to a strained side, the Mets hope a 17-year veteran still has something left as he prepares for his New York debut.

Suiting up for his 11th major league team and in search of his 100th career win, Miguel Batista(notes) (3-2, 4.60 ERA) gets the call Thursday.

The 40-year-old right-hander appeared in 26 games, including one start, with St. Louis before being released in June. Batista is 2-3 with a 3.19 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins, but hasn’t faced them in that role since July 28, 2003, with Arizona.

In 11 relief appearances since then, Batista has limited Florida to five runs in 13 2-3 innings.

Marlins starter Clay Hensley(notes) (2-5, 5.40) goes for his second win over New York since moving into the rotation earlier this year.

Following 20 relief outings, the right-hander entered the rotation July 18 in New York and gave up one hit and walked two over five scoreless innings of a 4-1 win over the Mets. Hensley faced the Mets again five days later in Miami, but failed to get a decision in the Marlins’ 8-5 victory.

After a six-start winless streak, Hensley snapped a personal six-start winless streak Friday, allowing three runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings of Florida’s 6-5 victory over the Phillies.

David Wright(notes) is 2 for 5 with the only two RBIs the Mets have recorded off Hensley this year. The third baseman is 7 for 14 with three straight multihit games versus Florida, and is batting .340 (16 for 47) in the season series.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Hensley WAS vs. M. Batista COL
6-7 Record 5-2
5.19 ERA 3.60
46 K 31
30 BB 33
1.36 WHIP 1.37


Thursday, Sep 1