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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, May 13th (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (19-14) at Miami Marlins (17-16), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jon Niese (2-1, 4.01) Miami - Carlos Zambrano (1-2, 1.98)

(Sports Network) - The New York Mets can capture their third straight winning series when they wrap up a three-game set against the National League East- rival Miami Marlins this afternoon in south Florida.

The Mets won a series over Arizona and Philadelphia before splitting the first two installments of this current set at Marlins Park. They pounded the hosts by a 9-3 score on Saturday behind R.A. Dickey's six solid innings of two-run ball and the production of third baseman David Wright.

Wright ended 4-for-6 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI. He is riding a six-game hitting streak with seven RBI over that span. Wright registered his fourth consecutive multi-hit game and leads the majors with a .402 batting average. Texas slugger Josh Hamilton also has a .402 average.

"He is a star and he's showing exactly how good he is," Mets manager Terry Collins said about Wright.

Daniel Murphy recorded three hits, two runs scored and knocked in a run, while Andre Torres had two RBI for the Mets, who have won six of seven games and pushed their record to 4-1 on a six-game trek. The Mets also pounded out 16 hits to Miami's 13 and improved to 14-6 against NL East teams this season.

Torres has reached base safely in all 12 games he has played this season. New York will head home after today's game to host Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

Since opening the 2012 campaign with back-to-back wins, Mets lefty Jon Niese is 0-2 in his previous four starts and will take the mound Sunday. Niese did not figure into the decision of a 5-2 win at Philadelphia on Monday, when he was reached for a pair of runs and four hits in five innings.

Niese, who is 2-1 in six starts with a 4.01 earned run average, faced Miami in a 3-2 victory on April 26 at Citi Field, posting a no-decision with seven innings of two-run ball. He is only 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins.

Miami can lock up its fourth straight series win with a victory tonight, but must get a better effort on the mound than what Ricky Nolasco gave the club on Saturday. Trying to become the franchise's all-time wins leader, Nolasco was buried for six runs and nine hits over just 4 2/3 innings.

"I did a bad job of deciding what to throw in certain situations," said Nolasco, who remains tied with Dontrelle Willis (68) for the record.

Giancarlo Stanton and Gaby Sanchez each had two hits and an RBI, while former Met Jose Reyes compiled four hits in defeat. Logan Morrison finished with two hits and a pair of RBI for the Marlins, who had won two straight and nine of 10 games. The Marlins will host Pittsburgh for two games on this homestand.

Stanton is batting .314 with six homers, 13 RBI and 16 hits in his last 13 games.

Coming off his first shutout of the season and fifth of his career, Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano targets an encore performance this afternoon against the Mets. Zambrano was 0-2 with a 2.53 earned run average in his first five starts before shutting down the Houston Astros in a 4-0 win on Monday.

Zambrano held the Astros to three hits, struck out a season-high nine batters and issued only one walk for his first win in a Marlins uniform. The fiery right-hander has not allowed a run in each of his last two starts and delivered seven scoreless frames in a win at San Francisco, but did not record a decision. The former Cub is 6-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) against the Mets.

New York swept a three-game series with Miami from April 24-26 and had won five straight in the series before Friday's loss. The Mets are two games off the NL East lead, while the Marlins sit four games back.

05/13 10:59:15 ET