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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 3rd (All times eastern)

New York Mets (52-54) at San Diego Padres (44-63), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - R.A. Dickey (14-2, 2.83) San Diego - Clayton Richard (7-11, 4.14)

(Sports Network) - R.A. Dickey is one of four pitchers with 14 wins and aims to be the first to 15 when the New York Mets begin the final piece to their season-high 11-game road trip tonight with the first of three straight meetings with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Dickey, an All-Star knuckleballer, was able to bounce back from a poor performance his last time out in a 5-1 win at Arizona on Sunday. Dickey, who gave up five runs (4 earned) in six innings versus Washington on July 24, held the Diamondbacks to an unearned run in seven innings to push his record to 14-2 in 22 games (21 starts) and lower his earned run average to 2.83.

The right-hander hasn't has much trouble on the road this season, going 8-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 11 tries, and hopes to beat San Diego for the second time in 2012. In a 2-0 win over the Padres on May 27 at Citi Field, Dickey struck out 10 batters through 7 1/3 scoreless innings.

He is 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts against San Diego.

New York's last two starters -- Jon Niese and Chris Young -- have pitched well and the club is looking for the trifecta Friday night. The Mets took three of four contests in San Francisco and are coming off Thursday's 9-1 pounding of the Giants thanks to Young's seven innings of one-run ball and four Ks.

"We came out of Spring Training and we liked our rotation a lot," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They showed why. They got us off to a good start. Everybody's going to have bad starts now and then, but for the most part our rotation has kept us in games."

Ronny Cedeno collected three hits and tied a career-high with five RBI for New York, which is 5-3 so far on the trek and 8 1/2 games off the Wild Card race. Scott Hairston scored three runs and Ruben Tejada extended his hitting streak to eight games.

David Wright needs one more home run to reach 200 in his career and will join Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220). He is three RBI shy of 800.

San Diego went 3-7 on its recent road trip and will begin a six-game homestand tonight versus the Mets and Chicago Cubs.

The Padres lost the last three games of a four-game set with the Reds and dropped a 9-4 decision Thursday. Chase Headley hit a two-run single and both Cameron Maybin and Eddy Rodriguez homered for the Padres.

Ross Ohlendorf recorded just five outs in defeat, charged for six runs and six hits while walking three batters. San Diego set a season-high for runs allowed in one inning after coughing up the six in the second frame. The Padres have been outscored, 82-38, in the first inning this season.

Clayton Richard tries for better results when he takes the mound for the Friars Friday night. Richard is only 2-4 in his last six decision and did not factor in the outcome of a 5-4 loss at Miami on Sunday, when he held the hosts to a pair of runs in 5 1/3 innings. Richard is 7-11 in 22 starts with a 4.14 earned run average and 4-4 in nine home outings.

The left-hander lost to the Mets on May 26 in a 9-0 beating and permitted four runs over six innings. Richard is 1-1 with a 3.28 ERA in four career starts against New York.

New York won three of the four matchups with San Diego back in late May.

08/03 10:45:33 ET

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