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Mets-Giants Preview

The Associated Press

Outstanding pitching has the San Francisco Giants surging at home.

Clutch performances at the plate are also contributing to those wins.

After rallying to win the first two games of this series, the Giants may be looking to make things easier on themselves in order to complete a sweep of the struggling New York Mets on Sunday.

San Francisco (41-21) owns the best home record in baseball at 21-9 behind a 2.72 ERA from the pitching staff. The pitchers have continued to deliver during an 8-1 run, compiling a 2.11 ERA, and the rotation has posted a 1.94 mark.

Despite the recent dominance on the mound, it's the bats that have come through against New York (28-34).

Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to complete the Giants' rally in Friday's 4-2 victory. They pushed across two in the ninth Saturday, with Michael Morse connecting for a walkoff single in a 5-4 win.

"It just tells you what kind of team we have," said Morse, whose eight game-winning RBIs are tied with Posey and three others for the NL lead. "We find a way."

The offense hasn't needed to do much when Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01 ERA) takes the mound against the Mets, but he's also looking to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career.

The right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 41 innings over his last six starts against New York. Four of those outings came at home, where he's gone 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA.

Lincecum has been much better at home than on the road this season, going 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in seven starts as host compared to a 6.84 ERA with the same record away from AT&T Park.

Those road woes continued Tuesday, when he was hammered for a career high-tying eight runs and six hits, while issuing three walks in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-3 loss at Cincinnati.

"I didn't do a good job of focusing from batter to batter," Lincecum told the team's official website.

The Mets are the brink of a six-game losing streak for the first time since May 10-15, 2013.

The relievers have been a major problem, surrendering 10 runs in 12 1-3 innings over the past five games, and Jenrry Mejia's efforts aren't helping.

The right-hander has giving up six runs in 2 1-3 innings over his last four appearances. He blew his first save of the season by allowing two runs in the ninth Saturday, putting the leadoff hitter on base with a wild pitch after striking him out.

Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89) was let down by the bullpen Tuesday, when he struck out seven batters in 6 2-3 scoreless innings only for the relievers to allow both runs in a 2-1 defeat to the Chicago Cubs.

"I can only do what I can do," Wheeler told the team's official website.

The right-hander is certainly doing his part with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts, but he has just a 1-1 record to show for it since he's been backed by three total runs in the two outings he didn't win.

Wheeler got plenty of help in his only start at San Francisco on July 10, yielding one run and three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 victory.

David Wright is mired in a 1-for-18 slump during the losing streak, and he's 3 for 23 with 13 strikeouts versus Lincecum.

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