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Mets Hanging on to 1st

The NL East-leading New York Mets hope Tom Glavine can help them rebound from a poorly-timed loss when they continue a three-game set with the bothersome Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

New York's division lead dwindled to two games over second-place Philadelphia on Monday after a 13-4 home loss to Washington (70-87) in the series opener. The Phillies, who were idle, start a three-game set against Atlanta on Tuesday.

"It's embarrassing with the season on the line to go out there and get embarrassed on your own home field," said Mets third baseman David Wright, who's hitting .417 (20-for-48) with six doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in an 11-game hitting streak.

The Mets (87-69) have dropped three of their last four games against the Nationals, but are 9-7 overall against their division rival this season.

"We're not going to roll over," said Nationals rookie manager Manny Acta, the Mets' third-base coach the previous two seasons. "I still think they have the best team in our division. If I'm going to pick a situation I'll pick their situation, two games up with (six) games to play."

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made New York -230 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 84% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -230 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Glavine (13-6, 3.97 ERA) will try to get the Mets closer to consecutive division titles for the first time in franchise history. The left-hander is 7-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 14 home starts this season, and hasn't lost since July 2, going 6-0 with a 3.44 ERA in 14 starts overall. Despite the two-time Cy Young winner's success, New York has won just eight times in that span.

Glavine appeared to be headed to another victory Thursday, as the offense provided him an early three-run lead. He gave up four runs in the fifth inning, the last one in which he pitched, and finished up allowing a season high-tying 11 hits in an 8-7 loss to Florida in 10.

He's won last two decisions against Washington and has posted a 0.95 ERA his previous three starts versus the Nationals - all on the road. However, he lost his last home outing against them on Sept. 25, 2006, surrendering four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 7-3 defeat.

The Mets hope to continue getting terrific production from Moises Alou, who extended his team-record hitting streak to 28 games - also the longest in the majors this year - by going 1-for-5 Monday. The 41-year-old left fielder, wrapping up his first season with New York, is hitting .382 (42-for-110) during his run and has hit safely his last six games against the Nationals, who will send Jason Bergmann (5-5, 4.30) to the mound in search of his fifth consecutive win.

The right-hander has not lost since June 30, going 4-0 with a 5.26 ERA in nine starts.

Bergmann had a strong performance Thursday, but did not factor in the 7-6 loss to Philadelphia. He allowed two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts in six innings, but four relievers combined to give up five runs.

In his only start against New York this season, he allowed one run and two hits over seven innings of a 1-0 loss on April 29. Overall, he is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in eight games - two starts - against the Mets, getting only three total runs of support in 19 1-3 innings.

Alou is hitless in three at-bats against Bergmann this year.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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