Giants, Mets look to rebound as they open series

NEW YORK -- A pair of teams looking for a fresh start will square off Monday night when the New York Mets host the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.

The Mets' resurgence came to a screeching halt Sunday, when they were one-hit by a quartet of Miami pitchers in a 7-0 loss to the Marlins. The Giants' season-long nosedive continued with a 4-0 loss that capped a three-game series sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds.

The shutout loss for the Mets (14-16) ended a three-game winning streak as well as a nine-game stretch in which New York scored at least five runs in every game. It was the longest streak for the franchise since a 12-game run from Aug. 11-24, 2007.

However, the Mets were far less focused on their offense Sunday than on former ace Matt Harvey, who was supposed to start against the Marlins but received a three-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Manager Terry Collins informed his players of the news during a meeting Sunday morning.

"I don't think there was any doubt that all of a sudden guys lost that focus a little bit," Collins said. "It certainly didn't help us."

Even with the defeat Sunday, the Mets have won six of their past 10 following a 1-9 skid.

"Hopefully it gets behind us and we move forward and go back playing the way we've been playing the last week," Collins said.

The Giants (11-21) are desperately looking for the form they displayed for most of the previous six seasons, during which they won three World Series and reached the playoffs four times -- including last year, when San Francisco beat the Mets 3-0 in the National League wild-card game.

This year has been an entirely different story for the Giants, who were outscored by a whopping 31-5 margin in getting swept by the Reds.

"It looked like we never got off the plane, the way we were playing," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said following the Sunday loss. "These things are hard to explain."

The Giants have the worst record in the National League and have been at .500 just once -- after two games.

"I wish I had a magic button," Bochy said, "but we'd better figure it out here soon."

Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom is scheduled to oppose Giants left-hander Matt Moore in the series opener.

DeGrom (2-1, 3.68 ERA) earned the win last Wednesday despite allowing five runs over five innings as New York beat the Atlanta Braves 16-5.

Moore (1-4, 6.75 ERA) endured his worst start of the year last Tuesday, when he took the loss after giving up nine runs over 3 1/3 innings as San Francisco fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-5.

DeGrom is 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Moore lost his lone career start against the Mets last Aug. 20, when he gave up three runs over five innings as New York earned a 9-5 win.
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