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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, July 31st (All times Eastern)

New York Mets (50-53) at San Francisco Giants (55-47), 10:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (4-11, 5.88)

(Sports Network) - If the San Francisco Giants want to end their losing streak, Tim Lincecum may not be the perfect option to send to the mound.

Either way, Lincecum gets the nod Tuesday for the Giants in the continuation of a four-game series versus the New York Mets at AT&T Park.

Lincecum is having a down year as evidenced by his 4-11 record and 5.88 earned run average in 21 starts. He has lost three of his past five outings, including Wednesday's 6-3 setback to San Diego in which he allowed five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 4 2/3 innings.

"Hopefully this isn't a step backward," Lincecum said afterward.

The right-hander and two-time NL Cy Young Award winner defeated the Mets back on April 23 this season at Citi Field with five innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory. Lincecum, who is only 2-5 in 10 home starts in 2012, improved to 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against New York.

San Francisco suffered its fifth straight loss in last night's 8-7 setback in 10 innings, as Scott Hairston homered off Giants closer Santiago Casilla and Jason Bay later scored on Rob Johnson's fielder's choice bunt. Casilla was saddled with the loss and starter Madison Bumgarner struck out nine batters and allowed two runs in six innings.

Nate Schierholtz singled in a run in the bottom of the 10th and ended with three hits and two RBI. Marco Scutaro, Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey all finished with two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who are only a percentage point ahead of Los Angeles and 3 1/2 games in front of Arizona for the NL West lead.

The Giants are 2-5 so far on a 10-game homestand.

Meanwhile, the Mets managed to win for the fourth time in 18 games last night and got big plays from Hairston and Johnson. Hairston homered twice and scored three times, while Ronny Cedeno and Johnson both drove in two runs. Bay crossed the plate three times for the Mets, who are 3-2 on an 11-game road trip. Hairston could be on the trading block with the deadline approaching.

"I'm really hoping he's in our uniform and I have no reason to think he won't be," manager Terry Collins told the Mets' website. "I know that if he's moved, it's for a piece that's going to genuinely help us, make us get better. And I hope he's still here."

Jeremy Hefner started for New York on Monday and did not receive a decision, allowing four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 frames. Josh Edgin picked up the win by getting the final two outs in the ninth inning and Manny Acosta tossed the 10th for his first save.

"Manny Acosta, two years in a row, has been an outstanding pitcher in the second half of the season. We need him now," Collins said.

The Mets will give Matt Harvey his second career start tonight and hope his appearance goes as smoothly as his debut. Harvey struck out 11 batters and walked three over 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 win at Arizona on Thursday.

Harvey, a right-hander, will have to outduel Lincecum to stay unbeaten.

"He's won two Cy Young awards," Harvey said of Lincecum on the team's website. "Watching a guy like that and getting to face him is awesome. It's kind of surreal, but at the same time, it's what I'm here for. I'm here to compete against those kinds of guys."

San Francisco is 3-2 against the Mets this season and won four of six matchups between the teams a year ago. New York hasn't won a series against the Giants since taking five of eight encounters back in 2009.

07/31 10:28:49 ET