D-backs Swing For Sweep, Mets Try To Salvage Something, 6:40 P.M. AZT

(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost all of Dan Haren's last six starts and hope that trend ends tonight in the finale of a three-game series versus the New York Mets at Chase Field.

Haren is 0-4 with a 4.58 earned run average in his last six starts and hasn't tasted victory since consecutive wins on June 7 and 12. He previously toed the rubber in last Thursday's 12-1 debacle at San Diego in which he allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.

The right-hander fell to 7-8 in 20 starts this season to go along with a 4.60 earned run average. Haren will shoot for his second career win over the Mets, as he is 1-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career matchups (4 starts) with New York.

Arizona has won the first two installments of this series and is coming off last night's 3-2 victory behind rookie starter Barry Enright, who fired eight innings of one-run ball and struck out eight batters. Enright also drove in a run at the plate, while Juan Gutierrez managed to pick up his third save despite giving up a run in the ninth inning.

"I was attacking hitters from the beginning," Enright said. "The first two guys got on, but I never lost that aggressiveness."

Justin Upton hit a solo home run and Gerardo Parra stroked an RBI triple for the Diamondbacks, who posted a 13-2 win Monday to snap a four-game losing streak. The D'Backs are aiming for their first sweep of the Mets since taking all four meetings from Aug. 3-5, 2002. The two teams played a doubleheader in that series.

The Diamondbacks haven't recorded a sweep since winning all three matchups with Houston from Aug. 28-30 of last season.

New York will try to salvage the finale of this series and fell to 1-5 on its 11-game, three-city tour out west. In last night's defeat in the desert, Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey suffered the loss for permitting three runs and seven hits in seven innings.

"When you go out against a team that you feel is inferior to your own and you don't get it done, it's hard," Dickey said on the team's site. "It's sad, because you don't get that many chances to do something special."

Angel Pagan and Josh Thole both homered for the Mets, who have lost eight of 10 games overall and are 4-11 in the last 15 road games. New York has been held to four runs or less in 11 straight games, going 3-8 in that span, and will also visit Los Angeles for four games on the road swing. It is 5-11 in July after going 18-8 in June.

The Mets fell 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the National League East lead and will pin pitching duties on Jonathan Niese tonight. Niese will try to stop a two-start losing streak and was 5-0 with a 2.43 earned run average in six appearances before losing back-to-back trips to the hill.

The slide began on July 7 in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, as he pitched seven innings of three-run ball with eight K's. Niese then dropped another hard-luck loss in last Thursday's 1-0 defeat at San Francisco, where he permitted the only run of the game through seven frames.

Niese, a left-hander, is 6-4 in 16 starts this season to go along with a 3.44 earned run average. He has never faced the Diamondbacks.

New York and Arizona are meeting for the first time since the Diamondbacks won five of seven meetings a year ago.

 

More post-sweep reaction at AZ Snakepit.

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