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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 5th (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (1-3) at New York Mets (1-3), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29) New York - Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Dominican right-hander Johnny Cueto hopes for better luck in his second start of the season on Saturday afternoon, when the Cincinnati Reds visit Citi Field for the middle test of a three-game set with the New York Mets.

Cueto debuted Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals and took a hard-luck 1-0 loss after allowing just three hits and the single run in seven innings while striking out eight.

He's 2-0 with a 2.37 earned run average in his last three starts against the Mets and 2-3 in eight career starts against them, with both of those wins coming at Citi Field.

As a road pitcher for his career, Cueto is 33-31, compared to a 32-18 mark at home.

For the Mets, 27-year-old righty Dillon Gee also makes his second start of 2014. Gee allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings of a no-decision in New York's 9-7 loss to Washington on Monday, striking out five Nationals batters.

He was moved up in the rotation when Jonathon Niese was pushed from Saturday to Sunday to give him extra time to recover from elbow soreness.

Gee lost his lone career start against the Reds after giving up four runs on five hits in six innings of a 7-3 home decision on June 15, 2012.

On Friday, Lucas Duda launched a pair of two-run homers, Jenrry Mejia struck out a career-high eight batters, and the Mets claimed their first win of the season with a 4-3 decision over the Reds.

Duda took Cincinnati starter Mike Leake deep in the fourth and then again in the sixth to provide plenty of run support for Mejia (1-0), who held the Reds to one run on four hits and five walks over six frames.

New York reliever John Lannan served up a two-run blast to Jay Bruce in the seventh that brought the Reds within one, but Kyle Farnsworth fanned Ryan Ludwick to end the frame before working a scoreless eighth.

Free-agent acquisition Jose Valverde then stranded Reds on first and second in the ninth to nail down his first save with the Mets.

Bruce finished 2-for-5 and knocked in all three Cincinnati runs, while Leake (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 frames for the Reds, who dropped two-of-three to St. Louis to open the season.

Cincinnati is 12-6 all time at Citi Field, which included a three-game sweep in 2013 and a 7-2 record there over the past two seasons. The Reds are also 4-0-1 in their last five series in Flushing.

04/05 10:34:17 ET

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