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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 20 (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (46-51) at San Diego Padres (42-55), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90) San Diego - Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Padres like what they see from young starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne and he will take the mound Sunday in the finale of a three-game series versus the New York Mets at Petco Park.

Despaigne is 2-1 with a 1.35 earned run average over the first four starts of his career, but tasted defeat his last time out in a 2-1 setback at Los Angeles on July 10. Despaigne allowed both runs in seven innings, struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk.

The Cuban right-hander was squaring off against one of the best pitchers in the game in Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Despaigne is holding opposing hitters to a .202 average and has allowed more than one run just once in his career. Despaigne will face the Mets for the first time after four straight appearances against teams from the NL West (San Francisco, Arizona, Los Angeles).

San Diego will try for a series win and evened the set with Saturday's 6-0 blanking of the Mets after losing Friday's series opener, 5-4. Tyson Ross was in All-Star form on the mound and tossed seven shutout innings, scattering four hits and striking out six with three walks.

"He was in command," Padres manager Bud Black said of Ross.

Seth Smith, Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable all homered for the Padres, who had lost three straight and eight of 10 games.

The Padres last won a series when they swept the Cincinnati Reds in three games from June 30 - July 2. They will visit the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves next for seven games.

Meanwhile, the Mets will try to win a fourth consecutive series Sunday and had prevailed in four straight and eight of nine games until last night's loss.

Dillon Gee was saddled with the defeat and gave up four runs and five hits in five innings of work. Daniel Murphy had the lone extra-base hit with a double for New York, which had scored five or more runs in its previous four games.

"You've got to hit," Mets manager Terry Collins said afterward. "That's just the name of the game."

The Mets are 9-5 in July and 4-2-1 in the last seven series. They will visit Seattle next for three games on this 10-game road trip.

Zack Wheeler will handle pitching duties for the Mets Sunday and he is 5-8 with a 3.90 ERA. Wheeler has won back-to-back starts and is 3-1 in his past four decisions. In a 7-1 win over Miami on July 11, Wheeler held the rival Marlins to a run in 6 2/3 innings with six K's and two walks.

Wheeler has allowed only one run in each of his previous three starts.

The right-hander has made 11 road starts this season, going 3-4 in that stretch, and is winless (0-1) with a 4.09 ERA in two career starts against the Padres.

New York took two of three from the Padres earlier this season.

07/20 10:27:37 ET

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