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Cabrera looks to lead Mets to sweep of Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Disgruntled second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera will attempt to cap an impressive series in the wake of his trade demand when the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants wrap up a three-game set Sunday.

After hearing Mets general manager Sandy Alderson wonder aloud about the potential trade market for a utility infielder who's a pending free agent at season's end, Cabrera has responded by going 5-for-9 with three runs scored in New York's two series-opening wins in San Francisco.

The five hits have raised his average from .238 at the start of the series to a much more attractive .259.

Cabrera, who hadn't played second base since 2014, has impressed in the field against the Giants as well, making one eye-catching play in each of the first two games of the series while playing error-free ball.

The Mets haven't made an error in the two games, helping them rebound from a four-game sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers with back-to-back wins.

Both victories have been by multiple runs, allowing Mets manager Terry Collins to pull his starting pitcher at a comfortable point of the game, including Jacob deGrom after eight innings Saturday even though he was in total command.

"Certainly we're going to make sure we take care of him," Collins said of deGrom. "We don't need anyone else going down."

The Giants will attempt to cool Cabrera's bat with left-hander Matt Moore in the series finale.

Moore will be making his third career start against the Mets, without having won either of the first two. He's gone 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in those outings.

The second-year Giant will take the National League's third-worst ERA (5.82) to the mound, a figure that's ballooned in June, when he's allowed 19 runs and 31 hits in 20 innings.

His 8.55 June ERA is the sixth-worst in the NL.

Moore will be starting for a team that's lost 11 of its last 12 games, and Saturday became the first team in the majors to reach the 50-loss mark.

"It is hard to believe," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the 50 losses. "I don't know if anybody saw this coming. Hard to make sense of it. It can be embarrassing."

If there's been a silver lining to Moore's four starts in June, it's that they've awakened the Giants' bats. San Francisco has totaled 22 runs in those games, allowing Moore to escape the four starts with just a 1-1 record.

He is coming off a 6-3 win at Atlanta on Tuesday in which he allowed all three Braves runs in seven innings.

The Mets will promote right-Rafael Montero from the bullpen to make his third start of the season. It will be his first start against the Giants, and first against anyone since May 25.

Montero has pitched out of the bullpen since his return from Triple-A on June 14. He held the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers to a total of one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings in his last two relief efforts.

Montero has faced the Giants just once in his career, retiring both batters he faced out of the bullpen in a game May 10.

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