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Giants, still trying to get on track, face Mets again

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets created a nice respite Monday night from the barrage of bad news and distractions created by one-time ace Matt Harvey. They will try to do it again Tuesday night against a San Francisco Giants squad looking to snap out of its own lousy news cycle.

The Mets will aim for their fourth consecutive series win Tuesday night when they host the Giants in the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field. Neil Walker's RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning Monday lifted New York to a 4-3 win.

The victory was a much-needed one for the Mets (15-16), who have won seven of 10 but were reeling after a 7-0 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday that came hours after Harvey was suspended three days without pay for an unspecified violation of team rules. Harvey was supposed to pitch Sunday, but left-hander Adam Wilk was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, and he gave up six runs (five earned) over 3 2/3 innings.

"Come back the next day and win a game -- that's what this game's about at this level," Mets manager Terry Collins said Monday night. "You can't let it linger. You've got to forget about it. You've got to forget about yesterday and move on. We're going to try to do that."

Harvey is expected to return to the Mets' rotation on Friday, when New York goes on the road to open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Hopefully Matt'll get back and get himself ready to go and get ready to pitch on Friday," Collins said. "But we've got a couple other things, couple hurdles this week we've got to get through. And I think we'll do that."

The Giants (11-22) don't have any problem-child pitchers, unless you count ace Madison Bumgarner, who is out for at least two months after injuring his pitching shoulder in a dirt bike accident. However, they have other things to worry about after losing four straight and seven of 10.

San Francisco, which has won three World Series and reached the playoffs four times since 2010, has the worst record in the National League and is already 9 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West.

"Even in those years that we did win the championship, there was a month in there somewhere where we really struggled," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said prior to Monday's game. "It's a team that's dealt with adversity. You go through it enough, you know that it is part of the game. It probably helps stop the panicking part about it."

But Bochy knows the Giants need to play with an urgency as they try to avoid falling into an unrecoverable hole.

"You've got to be careful that you (don't) assume the attitude that, 'Hey we'll be fine, we'll be fine,'" Bochy said. "No, we're not fine now. It's time for us to do something."

The Mets' Zack Wheeler is scheduled to face the Giants' Jeff Samardzija on Tuesday in a battle of right-handers.

Wheeler didn't factor into the decision in his most recent official start April 29, when he gave up two runs (one earned) over 4 2/3 innings in the Mets' 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals. He threw three innings last Thursday against the Atlanta Braves before the game was rained out. Wheeler is 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA in three career starts against the Giants.

Samardzija is coming off his best start of the season last Wednesday, when he didn't factor into the decision despite allowing only an unearned run over eight innings in the Giants' 4-1, 11-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 0-4 with a 7.22 ERA in 10 career appearances (four starts) against the Mets.

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