Mets-Diamondbacks Preview

The Associated Press

Despite losing his last two starts, Arizona's Patrick Corbin has been stellar since the New York Mets handed him his first defeat just over five weeks ago.

Corbin tries to avenge that loss to the Mets when he takes the ball in Friday night's series opener in Arizona.

Corbin (12-3, 2.33 ERA) entered his start at Citi Field on July 2 trying to become the first left-handed starter in the majors to begin a season 10-0 since Ron Guidry opened 13-0 for the New York Yankees in 1978. He got off to strong start, allowing one runner over the first four innings but ended up permitting a season-high five runs and six hits in six-plus innings of a 9-1 defeat.

He has since returned to All-Star form, posting a 1.82 ERA with 40 strikeouts over 34 2-3 innings in his last five outings.

Corbin has been saddled with the loss in his last two starts, though he isn't entirely to blame.

He gave up a run in eight innings in a 1-0 setback to San Diego on July 28 and permitted three runs in six-plus innings in Saturday's 5-2 final at Boston. He has received one total run of support in those games, and has been backed by an average of 2.7 runs of support in his last 11 contests after receiving an average of 5.8 in his first 11.

"He's run into a little bit of a drought at times," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Arizona (58-55) didn't have much trouble offensively in its last two games, with 9-8 and 6-1 home victories over Tampa Bay.

The Diamondbacks hope to stay locked in against Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.23), who tries to follow strong performances from the rotation in a three-game sweep of Colorado.

Mets starters yielded two earned runs and 16 hits over 22 innings against the Rockies, including Matt Harvey's shutout in a 5-0 win Tuesday.

New York (52-60) hasn't won four in a row since July 7-10.

After Dillon Gee won for the first time since July 14 in a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, Hefner seeks his first victory since July 7. He's 0-2 with a 7.66 ERA over his last five starts while allowing six homers over 24 2-3 innings. He gave up two home runs in his previous five outings.

Hefner opposed Corbin last month and got the win, holding Arizona to a Martin Prado solo homer over seven innings.

The teams split that four-game series, but the Diamondbacks have won 8 of the last 10 meetings in Arizona.

Prado is batting .413 with eight doubles, 14 RBIs and 11 runs over his last 17 contests and had a season-high four RBIs on Wednesday. He was 7 for 16 in the first four meetings while scoring three runs.

Eric Young, who is familiar with Corbin from his time with Colorado, has three doubles in nine at-bats against him this season.

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