David Wright didn't play in any of the New York Mets' eight games against Pittsburgh last season. The Pirates probably aren't looking forward to renewing acquaintances this week.
Wright will try to help the Mets win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks when they open a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday night.
Even an illness barely slowed Wright down over the weekend. The third baseman sat out New York's shutout loss to Toronto on Saturday, then went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, a double and a walk in a 6-5 win Sunday, raising his major-league leading batting average to .412.
Wright didn't face Pittsburgh in 2011 due to injury. While his .264 average versus the Pirates is tied for his lowest against an NL opponent, he put together an eight-game hitting streak against them from June 4, 2009-Sept. 14, 2010, batting .367 in that span.
The Mets (22-19) earned the badly needed victory Sunday after losing four of five.
"It's a great way to leave town and it's a good note to go to Pittsburgh on," left fielder Mike Baxter said after collecting three hits.
Johan Santana (1-2, 2.89 ERA) looks to continue his strong pitching Monday after yet another outing in which he was victimized by a lack of run support and the bullpen blowing the lead for a second straight start.
The left-hander gave up two runs and struck out five in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday, departing with the Mets up 3-2.
Santana has gotten 2.7 runs of support per game - 10th worst in the NL.
He is 2-2 with a 1.96 ERA against the Pirates, losing the last two times he faced them despite giving up five runs in 14 innings. The Mets scored one run in each outing.
He'll be facing a Pirates team that has struck out at least 12 times in three straight games, including 17 in a 4-3 loss to Detroit on Sunday.
Pittsburgh (19-22) was one-hit by Justin Verlander on Friday and is batting .191 in the last 11 games while posting double-digit strikeout totals seven times.
"We're walking out of this series thinking we could have won two, but we also ran into two very good pitchers that were as good as I've ever seen them, and I've seen quite a bit of them,' manager Clint Hurdle said.
Andrew McCutchen, who homered twice Saturday, went hitless in four at_bats Sunday and struck out three times. The center fielder, who went 9 for 20 in his last six games against the Mets in 2011, is batting .336 on the season.
Erik Bedard (2-5, 3.07) has received even less offensive help than Santana, with a run support average of 2.6.
Bedard didn't help his own cause against Washington on Wednesday, though, surrendering three solo homers and four runs in six innings of a 7-4 loss. He left his previous start after eight pitches because of back spasms but said it wasn't a factor.
The left-hander made his only start against the Mets in 2006, allowing three runs in six innings of a 6-3 victory while with Baltimore.
New York and Pittsburgh split their eight meetings last season.
The Associated Press News Service
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