June 2, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Josh Thole (30) scores on a hit by center fielder Andres Torres (56; not pictured) during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
(Sports Network) - Jonathon Niese will try to extend the amazing shutout streak the Mets have had so far in a magical weekend against the defending World Series champions.
The left-hander takes the mound for the third installment of a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Friday night, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history and yesterday afternoon R.A. Dickey pitched his third career shutout in a 5-0 final.
Now it's Niese's turn. The southpaw gave up two hits and four runs over five- plus innings of a no-decision against the Phillies on Tuesday. The Mets lost that game, 8-4. All told, Niese has given up 13 earned runs over his last three starts. He's 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in three games against St. Louis.
Jake Westbrook, tonight's St. Louis starter, has made just three career starts against the Mets and is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA. The righty is 0-2 over his last four appearances and has given up 18 earned runs during that span, covering 20 innings.
Dickey (8-1) gave up seven hits, including two in the ninth inning, and struck out nine without issuing a walk.
The knuckleballer threw 73 of his 100 pitches for strikes -- the last one was lined to right field by Carlos Beltran, stranding a runner at third to wrap up Dickey's fifth complete game and first shutout in almost two years.
"When he's got that knuckleball working like he did today, I feel bad for the hitters," said Mets third baseman David Wright, who homered. "I faced him in spring training, and it's not fun. It makes you look foolish. You look up at the radar gun and it's high 60s, low 70s miles an hour."
Santana tossed 134 pitches in his no-hitter, an 8-0 win to open the four-game series. It came in the franchise's 8,020th game. Santana and Dickey were also the last two Mets pitchers to throw back-to-back shutouts on Aug. 12 and 13, 2010.
"I went to bed last night reminding myself to bring what I bring, whatever that is," said Dickey. "[Santana] did a fantastic thing yesterday and I just wanted to give our team a chance to win."
Cardinals righty Lance Lynn (8-2), with a chance to become the majors' first nine-game winner this season, was no match. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season, giving up three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and four walks.
The Cardinals have lost four in a row to fall to 1-4 on a 10-game road trip.
Wright has scored 734 runs in his career, one shy of tying Jose Reyes for the most in team history.
New York split its six meetings with the Cards last season.
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