PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bartolo Colon has to like his chances of extending his winning streak to seven games since he owns a lower ERA against the Pittsburgh Pirates than any other opponent.
None of the previous Pittsburgh teams the New York Mets starter has faced had Gregory Polanco.
How the 41-year-old Colon fares against the 22-year-old Polanco figures to be one of Sunday’s most intriguing matchups in the finale of a four-game set at PNC Park.
Colon (8-5, 3.67 ERA) improved to 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts Tuesday by limiting Oakland to one run over eight innings in a 10-1 home rout. This streak is his longest since he won seven straight starts May 20-June 28, 2013, with the Athletics.
The eight-inning stint was his second straight and the third time this year the veteran right-hander has lasted that long.
“When he takes the mound, you say, ‘I know he’s going to take us to the eighth inning.’ No doubt,” manager Terry Collins told MLB’s official website.
Colon is 4-1 in six starts against Pittsburgh (41-40) with a 1.22 ERA. That includes a 5-0 victory May 28 in which he struck out a season-high nine over 7 1-3 innings.
That contest came before the Pirates called up Polanco on June 10, so Colon will get his first look at his Dominican countryman Sunday. Polanco is 0 for 9 over the last two games after striking out twice among five hitless at-bats in Saturday’s 5-3 defeat.
New York (37-44) played its second straight game without star third baseman David Wright, who has a bruised left rotator cuff. The Mets will reevaluate Wright on Monday and think he can avoid a trip to the disabled list.
“They want to see if it feels better after a couple days’ rest,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “If he’s still feeling the same, we’ll reassess it at that time.”
Rookie Eric Campbell filled in Saturday at third and had three hits as New York held on after building a five-run lead two innings into the game to end a three-game slide.
“I think it’s important with (Wright) out that a bunch of other people need to step up and today we had timely hitting and timely pitching and were able to get a W, which was nice,” Campbell said.
Pittsburgh fell for the second time in eight games and will try to capture the series behind Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35), who is 1-5 with a 6.63 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets. Curtis Granderson is 0 for 6 against the right-hander, and 0 for 21 with seven strikeouts against Pittsburgh this year.
Andrew McCutchen is 10 for 31 during a modest eight-game hitting streak and is batting .379 during an eight-game run against the Mets. He leads the NL with 54 walks.
Starling Marte hasn’t started any of Pittsburgh’s last four games due to a swollen finger on his right hand, though he struck out as a pinch-hitter Saturday. He is 0 for 7 against Colon.
The Pirates are a major league-worst 10-20 in day games.
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